Saudi Aramco awards $18bn in contracts to expand offshore capabilities

File photo of Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia May 21, 2018. (Reuters/File Photo)
Updated 09 July 2019
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Saudi Aramco awards $18bn in contracts to expand offshore capabilities

  • Aramco says 16 local and international companies were chosen out of 90 invited to bid
  • Contractors working on the projects will be required to maximize their purchases of material and equipment from Saudi suppliers and manufacturers

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s oil company Aramco has awarded $18 billion in contracts to expand oil and gas capacity at two of its fields, with Saudi companies being granted half of the awarded contracts.

Aramco said in a statement on Tuesday it had awarded 34 contracts for engineering, procurement and construction at the Majran and Berri offshore fields to expand crude oil production by 550,000 barrels per day and gas by 2.5 billion standard cubic feet per day.

Aramco says 16 local and international companies were chosen out of 90 invited to bid on the packages.

Contractors working on the projects will be required to maximize their purchases of material and equipment from Saudi suppliers and manufacturers. Aramco says the projects are also expected to create thousands of local jobs.

“These two programs will significantly enhance Saudi Aramco’s oil production and gas processing capabilities, both strengthening our position as the leading integrated energy supplier and meeting growing long-term demand for petroleum,” said Amin H. Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco.

“These investments will support our continued focus on employing best-in-class technologies, well completion, and reservoir management practices. It will enable Saudi Aramco to further reduce the carbon intensity of our crude oils, supporting our strategy of reducing emissions while providing energy to those who need it,” he added.

The Marjran program is an integrated development project for oil, associated gas, non-associated gas and cap gas from offshore fields, while the Berri increment program plans to add 250,000 barrels of Arabian Light Crude per day from its offshore oilfield.

(With AP)


Huawei in public test as it unveils sanction-hit phone

Updated 19 September 2019

Huawei in public test as it unveils sanction-hit phone

  • Hit by US sanctions, Huawei's Mate 30 will not be allowed to use Google’s Play Store
  • Household-name services like WhatsApp, Instagram and Google Maps will be unavailable.
BERLIN: Chinese tech giant Huawei launches its latest high-end smartphone in Munich on Thursday, the first that could be void of popular Google apps because of US sanctions.
Observers are asking whether a phone without the Silicon Valley software that users have come to depend on can succeed, or whether Huawei will have found a way for buyers to install popular apps despite the constraints.
The company has maintained a veil of secrecy over its plans, set to be dropped at a 1200 GMT press conference revealing the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro models.
Huawei, targeted directly by the United States as part of a broader trade conflict with Beijing, was added to a “blacklist” in Washington in May.
Since then, it has been illegal for American firms to do business with the Chinese firm, suspected of espionage by President Donald Trump and his administration.
As a result, the new Mate will run on a freely available version of Android, the world’s most-used phone operating system that is owned by the search engine heavyweight.
While Mate 30 owners will experience little difference in the use of the system, the lack of Google’s Play Store — which provides access to hundreds of thousands of third-party apps and games as well as films, books and music — could hobble them.
Household-name services like WhatsApp, Instagram and Google Maps will be unavailable.
The tech press reports that this yawning gap in functionality has left some sellers reluctant to stock the new phones, fearing a wave of rapid-fire returns from dissatisfied customers.
Huawei president Richard Yu said at Berlin’s IFA electronics fair this month that his engineers found a “very simple” way to install the hottest apps without going via the Play Store.
Huawei could offer its own app store in a preliminary version, setting itself up as a competitor to the dominant Apple and Google offerings, observers speculate.
Over the longer term, the company could build out a similar “ecosystem” of devices, apps and services as the Silicon Valley companies that would bind users more closely to it.
The world’s second-largest smartphone maker after Samsung, Huawei earlier this month presented its proprietary operating system HarmonyOS, a potential replacement for Android.
The Mate 30 will not yet have HarmonyOS installed.
But it could make for a new round in the decades-old “OS wars” between Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s Mac OS, then Android versus Apple’s iOS.
Meanwhile, Eric Xu, current holder of Huawei’s rotating chief executive chair, has urged Europe to foster an alternative to Google and Apple.
That could provide an opening for Huawei to build up Europe’s market of 500 million well-off consumers as a stronghold against American rivals.
“If Europe had its own ecosystem for smart devices, Huawei would use it... that would resolve the problem of European digital dependency” on the United States, Xu told German business daily Handelsblatt.
He added that his company would be prepared to invest in developing such joint European-Chinese projects.