Saudi Arabia has sent long-awaited information regarding proposals for the kingdom’s multi-billion dollar energy opening to international oil majors, according to industry sources on December 4th.
The Saudi ministerial negotiating team reportedly informed the oil companies of their standings in the proposal process and sent information packs dealing with the opening to the firms on December 3rd.
The $100 billion energy sector opening was announced in late 1998 and is part of the kingdom’s plans to liberalize its economy, create jobs and lure additional foreign investment.
Saudi negotiators in July had outlined the kingdom’s plans for exploration and development, giving the oil majors until August 26th to submit proposals covering investment primarily in the natural gas sector.
The major projects announced in July were the Kidan/Shaybah gas development in the remote Empty Quarter area bordering the U.A.E., the Rabigh industrial city and Midyan/Burkhan area field development in the northwest and the Haradh/Harmaliyah gas development in the eastern province, all of which involve gas exploration, field development and downstream investment tied to power generation, electricity or water desalination.
Other projects included in the opening are gas exploration and gas field development through the kingdom, except in areas where Saudi Aramco’s operations would be affected.
The short listed oil and gas firms, including Royal Dutch/Shell, Phillips Petroleum Co., Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Texaco Inc., Conoco Inc., BP Amoco, Enron Corp., Occidental Petroleum Corp., Eni, Marathon Oil Co. and TotalFinaElf, have until the end of the year to decide whether to proceed further.