King lays groundwork for SR81.44bn SABIC projects

Updated 12 August 2013

King lays groundwork for SR81.44bn SABIC projects

The huge developmental projects launched and laid foundation stones by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Thursday evening included SR81.44 billion projects for the Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC).
The projects launched for the Jubail Industrial City include a complex of the Saudi Kayan Petrochemicals (Saudi Kayan) and expansion of the National Natural Gas Company of (GAS), expansion of Hadeed, and tri-ethyl aluminum project, Ideal Consumption of power in Al-Bayroni and logistic facilities at sea port.
The SABIC projects for which the king laid foundation stones in the Jubail industrial city include the Saudi project for industrial rubber in the Saudi Jubail Petrochemical Co. (Kemya), pavement work at the port for petrochemical projects, polyoxymethylene project of the National Methanol Company (Ibn Sina) and a project in Arabian Petrochemical Co. (Petrokemya,) a fifth plant at the Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Company (SAFCO) in addition to a residential project for SABIC at the Jalmouda district.
The new Yanbu projects include launch of the SABIC employees’ residence project at the Mushayrif district besides laying of foundation stone for one of the Ibn Rush Fiber company’s projects.
The two industrial cities of Jubail in the Eastern Province and Yanbu in Madinah province with a combined population of 300,000 people employ more than 175,000 workers in 600 factories manufacturing 92 basic products. The total investments in the factories is estimated at SR776 billion with foreign investments worth SR269 billion accounting for 37 percent of the investments.
President of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu (RCJY) Prince Saud bin Thunayan said on an earlier occasion that 65 percent of the gross domestic industrial product of the Kingdom was contributed by RCJY, while its contribution to the GDP stood at 12 percent.
The exports from the two industrial cities accounted for 71 percent of the Kingdom’s total exports. The nonoil exports of the Royal Commission’s industrial cities contributed 85 percent of such exports. Since the 1980s, the two towns have been the major employment provider for the people in the Madinah and Eastern provinces.

Eni issues fraud complaint over suspect Iraqi shipment

Updated 18 July 2019

Eni issues fraud complaint over suspect Iraqi shipment

  • Italian oil multinational asks if rejected tanker cargo contained Iranian crude targeted by US sanctions

LONDON: Eni has filed a fraud complaint against its former head of oil trading over a suspect Iraqi crude oil shipment, amid concerns inside the Italian oil major that the failed delivery may have included Iranian crude targeted by US sanctions.

In the filing to the Milan prosecutor’s office, Eni accused its former head of trading and operations, Alessandro Des Dorides, of misleading all parties to the deal and hiding the role of a small Italian oil trading firm, Napag.

Two other senior employees were either demoted or suspended as a result of the failed shipment, sources said.

Eni said it had suspended dealings with Napag in February over a separate investigation by Milan prosecutors into suspected obstruction of justice by members of Eni’s former legal team.

Eni said that it fired Des Dorides at the end of May, after he had been in his job about six months, for what it said was an unrelated petrochemical deal with Napag in 2018.

Napag did not respond to an emailed request for comment or answer phone calls.

Des Dorides did not respond to several requests for comment from Reuters via email or LinkedIn. Reuters could not locate legal representation for him.

Eni also declined to comment. Eni said it “does not comment on ongoing investigations and internal due processes.”

The crude arrived aboard the White Moon tanker at the end of May for offloading at the Milazzo refinery in Sicily, which is part-owned by Eni. The Italian oil major, which produces oil in Iraq and is a regular buyer of Iraqi crude, was solely responsible for the cargo.

However, Eni said it rejected the delivery because it did not match the Iraqi Basra Light crude it expected from its counterparty, the Dubai-based trading arm of Nigerian firm Oando.

After sitting offshore for three weeks, the White Moon sailed back to the Gulf. The tanker manager did not respond to a request for comment.

Two sources at Eni said the White Moon’s 1 million barrel cargo created panic within the company over fears the crude could be, at least partially, Iranian.

Handling Iranian oil would have breached sanctions the US reimposed or extended last year after quitting a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Washington aims to reduce Iran’s exports to zero and force the Islamic Republic to renegotiate that nuclear deal, curb its missile program and modify its behavior in the Middle East.

Iran has called on other parties to the accord to shield it from the effects of US sanctions and has sought to circumvent US restrictions by selling more of its oil undercover.

Following the rejection of the White Moon shipment in June, the head of the Italian Senate Industry Committee wrote to Eni Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi to clarify the origin of an oil cargo labelled as coming from Iraq, the head of the committee said.

The head of the committee declined to comment to Reuters on the oil’s possible origins.

Eni said it bought the crude from Nigerian firm Oando, who in turn bought the oil from the London branch of Italy’s Napag.

Oando said it took back the cargo from Eni, but declined to comment further on the origins of the cargo as it was “in the middle of a resolution” over the rejected oil. Oando said the terms of the deal were “normal for the trading industry.”

Italian prosecutors cannot legally comment on any investigation unless there is an exceptional circumstance.

Trading sources familiar with the deal said the offer terms for the crude should have raised alarms internally even before its arrival off Sicily. The offer was at a significant discount to typical Iraqi trades, was paid for in euros and was from a firm that is new to the region, they said. Physical oil is commonly traded in dollars.

Eni said that the mismatch in the crude’s chemical composition “coupled with other red flags led to the decision to terminate the transaction.”

The oil loaded onto the White Moon came via two ship-to-ship transfers that makes the origin harder to track, sources said.

The crude bought from Oando was loaded onto the White Moon from another vessel, the New Prosperity, but that vessel itself had been loaded with oil from a third tanker, the Abyss.

The Abyss makes regular voyages through the Mideast Gulf with its transponder switched off for days at a time, according to Refinitiv Eikon ship tracking. The transponder was switched off between April 24 and May 3 when it transferred oil to the New Prosperity.