Saudi Aramco and SABIC sign heads of agreement for oil-to-chemicals feasibility study

Saudi Aramco and Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) have signed heads of agreement to conduct a feasibility study on the development of a fully integrated crude oil-to-chemicals complex to be built in Saudi Arabia. The study is due to be completed by early 2017.

The heads of agreement contains key principles of cooperation that will form the basis for the two companies to establish a joint venture.

Derived from improved refining technology, the crude oil-to-chemicals process will involve innovative configurations with proven conversion technologies. This will create a fully integrated petrochemical complex which maximises chemical yield, transforms and recycles by-products, drives efficiencies of scale and resource optimisation and diversifies the petrochemical feedstock mix in the Kingdom.

“Our agreement with SABIC reflects our vision to build on Saudi Arabia’s global leadership in crude oil production and commodities export by substantially increasing the production of oil-based petrochemicals and further optimising value across the entire hydrocarbons chain. This agreement will help spur a new era of industrial diversification, job creation and technology development in Saudi Arabia, particularly through downstream conversion of specialty chemicals by small- and medium-sized enterprises,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin H. Nasser.

Aramco and Sabic are also studying “possible” joint investment in shale gas, according to Sabic CEO Yousef Abdullah Al Benyan during the signing ceremony.