Total and Saudi Aramco to create thousands of jobs in $1bn gas station plan

Saudi Aramco and Total on Thursday agreed to invest $1 billion in the Kingdom’s retail fuel market in a move that is expected to create thousands of new jobs. (File/AFP)
Updated 14 February 2019

Total and Saudi Aramco to create thousands of jobs in $1bn gas station plan

  • The investment will be made over a six-year period
  • The two companies have also signed an agreement with the owners of Tas’helat Marketing Company (TMC) and Sahel Transport Company (STC) to acquire TMC and STC

LONDON: Saudi Aramco and Total on Thursday agreed to invest $1 billion in the Kingdom’s retail fuel market in a move that is expected to create thousands of new jobs.
The investment will be made over a six-year period, the pair said in a joint statement.
“Total is proud to be the first international oil major to invest in Saudi Arabia’s fuel retail network. This joint venture agreement is in line with our global strategy to expand in fast-growing markets worldwide.” said Momar Nguer, executive committee member at Total, “This new agreement is also reaffirming our long-term partnership with Saudi Aramco.”
The two companies have also signed an agreement with the owners of Tas’helat Marketing Company (TMC) and Sahel Transport Company (STC) to acquire TMC and STC.
It means that the Aramco-Total joint venture will take control of an existing network of 270 service stations together with their tanker fleet.
“We aim to enhance the quality of services, as well as create thousands of jobs and additional investment opportunities in the Kingdom, said Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi, Saudi Aramco senior vice president of downstream.”
“This project will also help optimize the total value of our hydrocarbon resources.”
Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne teased Thursday’s announcement last month during a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos.


Huawei's third-quarter revenue jumps 27% as smartphone sales surge

Updated 16 October 2019

Huawei's third-quarter revenue jumps 27% as smartphone sales surge

  • American companies, significantly disrupting its ability to source key parts
  • Huawei was all but banned by the United States in May from doing business with American companies

SHENZHEN, SHANGHAI: Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd’s third-quarter revenue jumped 27%, driven by a surge in shipments of smartphones launched before a trade blacklisting by the United States expected to hammer its business.
Huawei, the world’s biggest maker of telecom network equipment and the No. 2 manufacturer of smartphones, was all but banned by the United States in May from doing business with American companies, significantly disrupting its ability to source key parts.
The company has been granted a reprieve until November, meaning it will lose access to some technology next month. Huawei has so far mainly sold smartphones that were launched before the ban.
Its newest Mate 30 smartphone — which lacks access to a licensed version of Google’s Android operating system — started sales last month.
Huawei in August said the curbs would hurt less than initially feared, but could still push its smartphone unit’s revenue lower by about $10 billion this year.
The tech giant did not break down third-quarter figures but said on Wednesday revenue for the first three quarters of the year grew 24.4% to 610.8 billion yuan.
Revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose to 165.29 billion yuan ($23.28 billion) according to Reuters calculations based on previous statements from Huawei.
“Huawei’s overseas shipments bounced back quickly in the third quarter although they are yet to return to pre-US ban levels,” said Nicole Peng, vice president for mobility at consultancy Canalys.
“The Q3 result is truly impressive given the tremendous pressure the company is facing. But it is worth noting that strong shipments were driven by devices launched pre-US ban, and the long-term outlook is still dim,” she added.
The company said it has shipped 185 million smartphones so far this year. Based on the company’s previous statements and estimates from market research firm Strategy Analytics, that indicates a 29% surge in third-quarter smartphone shipments.
Still, growth in the third quarter slowed from the 39% increase the company reported in the first quarter. Huawei did not break out figures for the second quarter either, but has said revenue rose 23.2% in the first half of the year.
“Our continued strong performance in Q3 shows our customers’ trust in Huawei, our technology and services, despite the actions and unfounded allegations against us by some national governments,” Huawei spokesman Joe Kelly told Reuters.
The US government alleges Huawei is a national security risk as its equipment could be used by Beijing to spy. Huawei has repeatedly denied its products pose a security threat.
The company, which is now trying to reduce its reliance on foreign technology, said last month that it has started making 5G base stations without US components.
It is also developing its own mobile operating system as the curbs cut its access to Google’s Android operating system, though analysts are skeptical that Huawei’s Harmony system is yet a viable alternative.
Still, promotions and patriotic purchases have driven Huawei’s smartphone sales in China — surging by a nearly a third compared to a record high in the June quarter — helping it more than offset a shipments slump in the global market.