Saudi to Meet Oil Companies Bidding for Energy Projects
Saudi Arabia will meet later this month with foreign oil companies bidding for a role in huge upstream gas projects expected to inject more than 100 billion dollars into the kingdom, a senior Saudi official said Sunday.
"A new round of talks will take place in mid-January with representatives from the 10 or so companies that made offers," a member of the Saudi negotiating team told AFP.
"The meeting will allow us to present more details and information on the proposed projects to the foreign firms," the official said without elaborating.
The Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) reported last month that Saudi Arabia had delivered a list of 25 energy projects covering gas field development, oil refining and power generation to the oil companies and asked them to submit responses to a series of requests for clarification about selected projects by the end of the year.
The bidding process is expected "to enter a much more intensive phase in the first half of 2001 once the responses from the international oil companies have been received," the weekly magazine said.
US majors Chevron, Conoco, Enron and Occidental in a joint bid, ExxonMobil, Marathon, Phillips and Texaco have been shortlisted for the Saudi projects along with the European firms BP Amoco, Eni, Royal Dutch Shell and TotalFinaElf.
Riyadh announced in May that the oil majors made a series of initial proposals during April 16-30 talks that would inject more than 100 billion dollars into the Saudi upstream gas and downstream oil sectors.
Saudi Arabia, which sits on top of the world's biggest oil reserves, has estimated gas reserves of six trillion cubic meters (210 trillion cubic feet). It has so far ruled out foreign investment in the upstream oil sector -- RIYADH (AFP)
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