Saudi Economy Poised to Absorb More Foreign Investment
The Saudi economy is poised to soak up a record amount of foreign investment following the kingdom's announcement of the winners of three huge gas projects, with ExxonMobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell taking the lion's share, reported the Gulf Daily News on Sunday.
Five US oil giants figure on the list of eight winners announced for three core ventures, which industry experts estimate will need initial investments of $30 billion.
“This is going to be the most important flow of foreign investment in the history of the country. It will have a huge impact on the economy,” predicted Brad Bourland, chief economist of Saudi American Bank.
“Saudi companies will benefit a lot from projects associated with the gas core ventures,” he said.
There will be jobs for Saudis, although foreign experts will be coming too.
The biggest prize, a venture located in South Ghawar near Al Hofuf in the kingdom’s eastern province, has gone to a consortium grouping ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BPAmoco PLC and Phillips Petroleum Co of the US.
ExxonMobil is to lead a separate consortium that also comprises US firms Enron Corp and Occidental Petroleum, which made a joint bid for a project in the Red Sea region.
The Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell and TotalFinaElf of France will team up with Conoco Inc of the US for the third venture in the Shaybah region of the Empty Quarter in southeast Saudi Arabia, the paper said.
Covering 440,000 sq km, the 30-year natural gas initiative to be launched by the majors in co-operation with state-run Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest area for hydrocarbon investment.
The investment, said the paper, involves gas exploration and production, setting up petrochemical industries and power and water desalination plants – Albawaba.com
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