Saudi Aramco set to sign China’s Yunnan refinery deal

Updated 24 August 2017
0

Saudi Aramco set to sign China’s Yunnan refinery deal

Saudi Aramco is expected to sign a final deal with PetroChina, China’s second-largest state-run refiner, within six months to invest in its Yunnan refinery, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told Reuters on Wednesday.
The world’s top oil exporter aims to push ahead with its oil investments in China to become the country’s biggest source of crude supply and a major player, Falih said.
“Yunnan (talks) have reached advanced stages. We aim to finalize Yunnan within six months,” Falih, who is also the chairman of Aramco, said.
Aramco will own a “big stake” in the 260,000-barrel per day Anning plant in Yunnan province, he added.
Aramco is looking to invest $1 billion-$1.5 billion in the refinery as well as the retail assets of PetroChina, sources told Reuters in 2015.
PetroChina aims to start operating the new refinery in October after several delays, boosting the nation’s already-surging crude imports.
PetroChina will also will consider taking part in Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO) set for next year based on market conditions, the Chinese oil major said in March.
A PetroChina official told Reuters in March that if the refinery deal was finalized with Aramco, the Saudi state oil giant would supply at least part of the refinery’s crude oil requirements.
Falih said Saudi Arabia aims to break the slow pace in the progress of Saudi projects in China and push for more investments between the two nations.
“The goal is that not only the Kingdom will be China’s largest crude exporter but the largest in-market investor,” Falih said.
In May, Chinese defense conglomerate China North Industries Group Corp. (Norinco) signed a framework agreement with Aramco to build a refinery and chemicals complex in northeast China.
That investment would boost Aramco’s presence in China’s massive refining industry, adding to its 25 percent stake in the Fujian refinery in southeast China.
— REUTERS


Germany sees ‘most difficult part’ in EU-US trade talks ahead

Updated 43 min 56 sec ago
0

Germany sees ‘most difficult part’ in EU-US trade talks ahead

  • ‘For some weeks and months now, we’re observing with concern that the US is tightening its trade policies, that tensions are increasing’
  • ‘The impact can already be seen in the world economy, global growth has slowed’

BERLIN: The most difficult part in trade negotiations between Europe and the United States is starting now and talks should focus on reducing tariffs on industrial goods to increase the chances of a deal, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Tuesday.
A confidential US Commerce Department report sent to President Donald Trump over the weekend is widely expected to clear the way for him to threaten tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported autos and auto parts by designating the imports a national security threat.
“For some weeks and months now, we’re observing with concern that the US is tightening its trade policies, that tensions are increasing,” Altmaier told Deutschlandfunk radio.
“The impact can already be seen in the world economy, global growth has slowed,” Altmaier said.
Asked about the risk of higher US car tariffs, Altmaier said he did not buy the argument that imported cars would threaten the national security of the United States.
Altmaier, a confidant of Chancellor Angela Merkel, said that reducing tariffs on cars and other manufactured goods should be the main focus of the ongoing trade talks.
“We are not yet where we want to be. We might have made one-third of the way and the most difficult part will be now,” Altmaier said.
Altmaier added that he was in favor of reducing import tariffs for cars to the same level in the US and Europe, “ideally to zero percent.”
The trade talks will also be high on the agenda during a meeting of Altmaier with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire in Berlin later on Tuesday.
Both ministers are expected to narrow differences on how far the negotiation mandate of the European Commission in the talks with the US should go and which areas should be excluded.
France is reluctant to open up its agriculture sector to US imports and Altmaier said he was fine with excluding the issue in the trade talks.
“Agriculture is a very sensitive topic, so we don’t want to talk about this in the current situation,” Altmaier said.
Altmaier and Le Maire are expected to hold a news conference after the talks.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a German newspaper that Trump had promised him he would not impose additional import tariffs on European cars for the time being.
If Trump imposed tariffs on European cars, however, the EU would react immediately and not feel obliged to stick to its promise to buy more soybeans and liquefied gas from the United States, Juncker added.