Saudi Aramco to shift more crude production to petrochemicals

Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said that the Saudi Arabian government remained committed to an initial public offering of the company. (AFP)
Updated 23 October 2018
0

Saudi Aramco to shift more crude production to petrochemicals

  • Aramco has been boosting its investments in refining and petrochemicals to secure new markets for its crude
  • Aramco hired JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley to advise on a potential acquisition of as much as a 70 percent stake in SABIC

RIYADH: Saudi Aramco aims to allocate some 2-3 million barrels per day of its crude oil production to petrochemicals, CEO Amin Nasser said on Tuesday, a sign the state energy group is hedging its bets against a possible demand slowdown.
Aramco has been boosting its investments in refining and petrochemicals to secure new markets for its crude, as it sees growth in chemicals central to its downstream expansion strategy.
The company is working on buying a stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the world’s fourth largest petrochemical maker, as part of plans to become a leader in the chemical industry, Nasser told an investment conference in Riyadh.
But anti-trust regulations abroad will mean that the company’s planned acquisition of a controlling stake in SABIC will take time, he said, noting that SABIC has a presence in 50 countries around the world.
Aramco hired JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley to advise on a potential acquisition of as much as a 70 percent stake in SABIC, currently held by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, sources said in July.
Nasser said the Saudi Arabian government was still committed to an initial public offering of Aramco, while the timing depended on market conditions and other factors. He added that Aramco could not list while the SABIC deal was ongoing.
Nasser also said bankers had not expressed any concerns about a recent rise in Saudi funding costs ahead of the company’s potential acquisition of the SABIC stake.
“Aramco is well positioned financially,” Nasser told reporters on the sidelines of an investment conference in Riyadh. “So far we have no issue to finance any of our projects. I don’t anticipate seeing any issues in financing.”
He also said it would take Aramco three months to reach maximum oil production capacity of 12 million bpd, if needed.
Aramco plans to raise its refining capacity to between 8 million and 10 million barrels per day, from some 5 million bpd now, and double its petrochemicals production by 2030. Aramco pumps around 10.7 million bpd of crude oil.


UAE, Jordan sign $100 million deal to fund SMEs

Updated 21 November 2018
0

UAE, Jordan sign $100 million deal to fund SMEs

  • The pact will fund around 22,000 projects over five years, as well as generate around 28,000 jobs for the Jordanian youth
  • It will also implement special initiatives for women, the youth, and other disadvantaged groups

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates signed a $100 million agreement with Jordan to boost small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Jordan.

The multimillion-dollar agreement was finalized during the official visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Amman earlier this week.

The cooperation and financing pact will support entrepreneurship in Jordan, funding around 22,000 projects over five years, as well as generate around 28,000 jobs for the Jordanian youth.

“The agreement reflects the depth of relation between the two countries. It aims to strengthen cooperation with regional and international institutions that support entrepreneurship and SMEs,” according to Hussain Jasim Al Nowais, chairman of the Abu Dhabi-based Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.

The Khalifa Fund will implement the developments, along with Jordan’s Crown Prince Foundation.

The agreement will also implement special initiatives for women, the youth, and other disadvantaged groups – with women-focused projects accounting for 47 percent of the developments, and rural areas getting 40 percent of the fund.

“Our partnership with Khalifa Fund will support the Jordanian youth in general, and those belonging to disadvantaged areas in particular,” Fawaz Al-Zu’bi president of the Jordan Crown Prince Foundation’s board of trustees, said.

The UAE last month extended a Dh3 billion ($833 million) economic aid package to the Jordanian government to boost the kingdom’s economic growth.