The Franco-Belgian group TotalFinaElf has proposed investments of eight billion dollars as Saudi Arabia wound up talks with oil majors on the opening of its prized energy sector, a newspaper said Monday.
The Middle East Economic Survey (MEES), meanwhile, said technical talks would start in Riyadh on May 9 in a "fast-track" process that would lead to the awarding of contracts to international companies in 2001.
The Saudi economic paper Al-Iqtissadiya said the TotalFinaElf chairman, Thierry Desmarest, made the latest proposal in a meeting Sunday with a Saudi ministerial committee chaired by Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.
TotalFinaElf is one of 12 shortlisted oil majors, which could invest 30 billion dollars in the kingdom, according to industry experts. Riyadh is hoping for almost 100 billion dollars, notably in its upstream gas sector.
The upstream oil sector is reserved for state-run Saudi Aramco.
Two weeks of preliminary talks between the oil companies and Saudi authorities in the Red Sea city of Jeddah concluded with the discussions with TotalFinaElf. Prince Saud is expected to announce results from the talks on Wednesday.
Technical talks will be launched on May 9 when the foreign companies will be briefed collectively by teams from the Saudi oil, industry, electricity, finance and planning ministries, it said - (Several Sources)
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