Aramco gives pipeline contract to SEPCO

Updated 23 October 2014
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Aramco gives pipeline contract to SEPCO

ALKHOBAR: Saudi Aramco has contracted a Chinese group for a project to help expand the capacity of the main gas pipeline across Saudi Arabia, which dates back to the 1970s, aiming to improve energy supply to industries in the west of the country.
Under the contract, the first phase of an expansion of the master gas system (MGS), China’s Shandong Electric Power Construction Corp. (SEPCO) will install two booster gas compressor stations, Aramco’s weekly magazine Arabian Sun reported.
MGS was built in the mid-1970s to gather and process associated gas from oil wells and use it for domestic industries.
The project will help deliver gas to the western region, including the King Abdullah Economic City, PetroRabigh and an independent power plant.
Aramco did not give the contract’s value. Two industry sources estimated it at less than $1 billion to around $1.3 billion.
Once SEPCO’s work is complete by the end of 2016, the capacity of MGS will rise to 9.6 billion cubic feet of gas a day (cfd) from 8.4 billion.
Aramco said capacity will further increase to 12.5 billion cfd by 2018 under a second phase, for which engineering design work is due to be complete next year.


Brent eases from 2019 highs as markets await US-China trade talks outcome

Updated 44 min 37 sec ago
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Brent eases from 2019 highs as markets await US-China trade talks outcome

  • The slight downward correction was driven by concerns about the health of the global economy this year
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch expects Brent prices to average between $50 and $70 per barrel

SINGAPORE: Brent crude oil prices eased away from 2019 highs on Tuesday on caution that economic growth may dent fuel demand this year, although supply cuts led by OPEC still meant markets were relatively tight.
International Brent crude oil futures were at $66.08 per barrel at 0220 GMT, down 42 cents, or 0.6 percent from their last close, but still not far off the 2019 high of $66.83 a barrel hit in the previous session.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $55.71 per barrel. While that was up 12 cents from their last settlement, it was below the $56.33 2019 high from the previous day.
Traders said the slight downward correction was driven by concerns about the health of the global economy this year.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note that the Sino-American trade dispute was hurting economic growth globally.
“Addressing global trade tensions is key for improving the economic outlook,” it said in a note.
China’s vice premier and chief trade negotiator, Liu He, and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer lead a round of trade talks this week in Washington.
Considering the economic outlook and supply and demand balances, the bank said it expects Brent prices to average between $50 and $70 per barrel, “anchored around $60.”
Despite some caution around trade, global oil markets remain relatively tight because of supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), with top crude exporter Saudi Arabia cutting the most.
Saudi seaborne crude exports fell in the first half of February, with departures standing at 6.204 million barrels per day (bpd), a 1.341 million bpd decline on the previous month and 0.91 million bpd decline on the year, data intelligence firm Kpler said.
Further providing oil markets with support are US sanctions against petroleum exporters Iran and Venezuela.
Venezuela is a major crude supplier to US refineries while Iran is a key exporter to major demand centers in Asia, especially China and India.