Saudi Aramco to build vast oil complex with Total

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih speaks at the Saudi-France CEO Forum in Paris on Tuesday. AN
Updated 13 April 2018
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Saudi Aramco to build vast oil complex with Total

  • Saudi Aramco announced commercial cooperation worth a total of $12 billion with French firms
  • France is the third biggest foreign investor in the Kingdom

PARIS: Saudi Aramco and the French oil giant Total signed an agreement on Tuesday to build a vast petrochemical complex in Jubail.
In total, $9 billion will be invested, creating 8,000 jobs in the Kingdom.
The deal was the highlight in a series of agreements between Saudi Arabia and France which rounded off a CEO business forum in Paris on the final day of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s official visit.
The two countries made agreements worth $18 billion, rubber-stamped by top representatives in a mammoth signing ceremony.
The final day of the crown prince’s visit shifted from building relations over culture and heritage, to business and finance. Accompanied by stirring music, business chiefs from several French companies mounted the stage for a theatrical exchange of documents in a building that once housed the national printworks but is now an offshoot of the French Foreign Ministry.
The crown prince met French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, who was accompanied by a number of French businessmen.
They discussed enhancing partnership and investment opportunities, including attracting promising investments aimed to localize technology and training Saudi nationals, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Fifteen memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed by Saudi and French companies at the CEO Business Forum. They included agreements between Saudi Arabia’s SABIC and France’s Schneider Electric on energy management, and SABIC and Orange on transfer of technology.
Al Arabia signed an investment agreement with multinational advertising giant JCDecaux; Axens, a global leader in converting oil, coal and natural gas to clean fuel, has struck a deal with Saudi refining and petrochemical company Petro Rabigh, and water management company Saur now has an agreement with a Saudi counterpart, International Aramoon Company Limited.
Saudi Aramco announced commercial cooperation worth a total of $12 billion with French firms.
These included deals with Veolia and Dussur for industrial wastewater treatment and a corporate purchase agreement signed with TechnipFMC for wellhead and surface-control equipment.
Several other agreements were also signed with Suez and Dussur, the Arab World Institute and the Pompidou Center.
“With Vision 2030, I believe there are more opportunities for collaboration and partnerships, not only in the oil and gas sector but also in infrastructure, manufacturing and services industries, which are critical to manage and operate an enterprise like Saudi Aramco,” said Aramco President and CEO Amin H. Nasser.
Meanwhile, Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan told AFP that Aramco’s hotly awaited stock market debut would be launched in 2018 if market conditions permit, otherwise in 2019.
“If the market is ready in 2018, we will go in 2018. If not, we will wait until 2019,” he said.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian inaugurated the CEO event, which was organized by the Saudi Center for Strategic Partnerships.
Le Drian highlighted 50 years of relations between Saudi Arabia and France and the importance of enhancing security, stability, energy, economy, science, culture and technology between the two countries.
He said France is the third biggest foreign investor in the Kingdom after the US and Kuwait, and that 80 French companies are operating in Saudi Arabia with more than 27,000 Saudi jobs, of which 20,000 are in the energy sector.


We have a story to share with the Saudi people, says new US official in Riyadh

Cultural and educational exchange programs between Saudi Arabia and the United States help build stronger ties. (AN photo)
Updated 19 September 2018
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We have a story to share with the Saudi people, says new US official in Riyadh

  • We have a story to tell and a story to share in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi people. We are pleased that so many Saudis want to study in the United States: US Public Affairs Counselor in KSA

RIYADH: Cultural and educational exchange programs between Saudi Arabia and the United States “help build stronger ties between the two countries and bring them closer together,” according to Brian Shott, the new US Public Affairs Counselor in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking at a reception to welcome him at the US embassy in Riyadh on September 18, he said: “One of the main things we do is we try to share aspects of the United States and of American culture, but we also learn from Saudis and Saudi culture.” 

In her opening speech, the embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Martina Strong also highlighted the enduring relationship between the two countries, saying: “Tonight is a celebration, a celebration of a friendship that has extended over many, many decades.”

Shott, who previously served in Morocco, Cairo and Baghdad, will be in Saudi Arabia for the next two years, during which he will promote educational and cultural exchanges.

“There are some real opportunities here and we have been fortunate enough to be able take advantage of partnerships with Saudi organizations and Saudi agencies, whether it is the General Authority for Culture or the Ministry of Education,” he said.

“We have a story to tell and a story to share in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi people. We are pleased that so many Saudis want to study in the United States.”

Meanwhile, the reception also served as a farewell to Robin Yeager, the cultural attache in Riyadh. She said that it had been a “very dynamic time to be in Saudi Arabia. It has been a pleasure and an honor to be here at a time when I get to know first-hand the future that Saudis are trying to build.”

The night that women were were given the right to drive, she said she went out and saw the “thrill on their faces.” To assist with empowerment and other progressive policies, embassy staff work on social issues and provide leadership training for women’s groups, she said.

“It is beautiful because they take something that an American expert talks to them about and they turn it into the Saudi way to approach it,” she added. “It’s not that we are changing things; it’s that we are giving them tools, so they can build what they want to build.”