Saudi Aramco eyes $129 bln investment in next 5 yrs

In a bid to maintain its unsurpassed role in the global petroleum scenario, Saudi Aramco has embarked on a massive investment program and corporate developments. The company plans to spend over US$129 bln on projects and infrastructure over the next 4 years. About US$70 bln will be invested in international and domestic joint ventures, and the balance US$59 bln will be towards projects solely undertaken by Aramco. The world's largest oil company by production and reserves has drawn up an exclusive list of 27 selected Saudi and international construction and engineering firms vying for the contracts due to be awarded. Seven decades of large-scale commercial production has managed to deplete only 28% of Saudi Arabia's proven reserves. Estimates point to recoverable oil of 200 billion barrels, enough to last, at last year's average production level, for over 100 years. New combined petrochemicals and oil refining complexes are being built at Rabigh in a joint venture with Japan's Sumitomo and at Ras Tanura with the US Dow Chemical Company. Another complex is planned to be located at Yanbu. Aramco has a 25% stake in a 240,000 bpd refinery venture in China's Fujian province which will chiefly draw on Saudi heavy crude to produce gasoline and petrochemicals. Sinopec is mulling a second joint venture refinery with Aramco in Shandong province. A US$5 bln refinery investment is being mooted on Mindanao island in the Philippines, where Saudi Aramco has a 40% stake in a refinery. Saudi Aramco is part of the US$7 bln Motiva consortium with Royal Dutch Shell.
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