India's west coast is set to become home for the world's largest oil and petrochemical refinery, as Saudi Aramco and a consortium of Indian state refiners have joined hands to execute a $44 billion project.
Saudi Aramco, the world's largest producer of crude oil, has chose to buy a 50-percent stake in a $44-billion Indian oil refinery, officials said Wednesday.
The CEO of Saudi Aramco, Amin Nasser, signed an agreement with Honeywell UOP and Technip FMC to explore petrochemical production technologies to be used in the multi-billion-dollar plant the company is about to build at the Port Arthur refinery.
Saudi Arabia used to be China's largest supplier of crude oil, but has lost that spot to Russian Federation in the past two years.
Saudi Aramco may have shot itself in the foot by unexpectedly increasing the price of its crude oil to Asia, with a major Chinese refiner responding by sharply cutting back on the volume of cargoes from the world's top exporter.
"Later, we can bring in other interested parties as part of the foreign block", said Khalid Al Falih, minister of energy and mineral resources of Saudi Arabia.
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The signing marks a significant development in Indias oil and gas sector, enabling a strategic joint venture and investment partnership that will serve Indias fast-growing demand for transportation fuels and chemical products.
"Latest agreement, hopefully, will also allow us even to increase our market share", he said, referring to the 50 percent stake Aramco has agrees to purchase in the proposed refining and petrochemicals complex.
The project includes a 1.2-million-barrels-per-day (bpd) refinery integrated with petrochemical facilities with a total capacity of 18 million tonnes per year, the officials said on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum. It has signed such deals with U.S. and French companies earlier this month - essentially in the petrochemicals sector - and refinery projects in Indonesia and Malaysia previous year. "We will only list when the market is right", he said.
"If the market is ready in 2018, we will go in 2018".
"We are not desperate for listing".
"What is left is are we going to list outside, and if we are going to list outside, where", said Jadaan.
Jadaan said the government had not yet decided whether to list Aramco on the Saudi exchange alone, on a stock market overseas or seek a dual listing.