Saudi Aramco, SABIC sign deal with Britain’s 'Wood Group' to develop world’s largest crude oil to chemicals project

Wood Group will develop the $20 billion complex and provide front-end engineering design and project management services during the engineering, procurement and construction phase. (Shutterstock)
Updated 09 March 2018
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Saudi Aramco, SABIC sign deal with Britain’s 'Wood Group' to develop world’s largest crude oil to chemicals project

DUBAI: Oil giant Aramco and petrochemicals manufacturer SABIC selected on Thursday British energy services provider Wood Group to develop the world’s largest fully integrated crude oil to chemicals (COTC) complex in Saudi Arabia.
Wood Group will develop the $20 billion complex and provide front-end engineering design and project management services during the engineering, procurement and construction phase.
The energy service provider will also support the development of the complex that is expected to process 400,000 barrels a day and around 9 million tons of chemicals and base oils annually.
The agreement coincided with the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the United Kingdom. It also follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2017 between Saudi Aramco and SABIC to assist in bringing the mega-project to its next stage of development.
The scope of the contract primarily includes the finalization of the project, selection of technology providers, updating project economics and performing the front-end engineering design.
The project is expected to achieve a direct conversion rate from crude oil to chemicals of almost 50 percent.
“This offers the Kingdom solid opportunities to produce chemicals as a feedstock as part of Saudi Aramco’s efforts to maximize return on investments in hydrocarbon resources,” President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, Amin H. Nasser said.
“This is an important milestone in a partnership that we are proud of between Saudi Aramco and Sabic, a partnership that is in line with Saudi Aramco’s strategy for business integration, adding value and tackling global growth opportunities in chemicals,” he added.
It will be capable of maximizing chemical yield, recycling by-products, optimizing resources and driving efficiencies of scale, Nasser explained.
“Ours is a business relying on finite natural resources for our feedstock. We have an obligation to deploy those resources as efficiently and in the most sustainable manner possible,” Vice Chairman and CEO of SABIC Yousef Al-Benyan said.
The project will generate the world’s highest proven yield conversion rate of oil to chemicals in a competitive and sustainable way, according to Al-Benyan.
The contract is expected to continue through to the start of operations in 2025.
By 2030, the COTC complex is expected to be a significant contributor to Saudi Arabia’s GDP and play a key role in helping the continued economic diversification from crude exports to higher value industrial products.


US trade negotiators to visit China for fresh round of talks

Updated 21 March 2019
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US trade negotiators to visit China for fresh round of talks

  • Washington and Beijing are battling over the final shape of a trade deal
  • American officials are demanding profound changes to Chinese industrial policy

BEIJING: US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will visit China on March 28-29 for a fresh round of talks aimed at resolving the bruising trade war, the Chinese commerce ministry said Thursday.
After their visit, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will head to the United States in April to continue the negotiations, ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a press briefing.
Washington and Beijing are battling over the final shape of a trade deal, with American officials demanding profound changes to Chinese industrial policy.
President Donald Trump warned Wednesday that US tariffs on Chinese imports could remain in place for a “substantial period,” dampening hopes that an agreement would see them lifted soon.
Over the last eight months, the United States and China have slapped tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way goods trade, weighing on the manufacturing sectors in both countries.
On Friday, China’s rubber-stamp parliament approved a foreign investment law to strengthen protections for intellectual property — a central US grievance — but critics said the bill was rammed through without sufficient time for input from businesses.