Saudi Aramco to sign $10 bln of deals in France

A general view shows the Saudi Aramco oil facility in Dammam city, 450 km east of the Saudi capital Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 10 April 2018

Saudi Aramco to sign $10 bln of deals in France

  • Saudi Aramco will sign eight deals worth $10 billion with French companies
  • Saudi-France economic forum is due to take place with an official signing ceremony

Paris: Saudi Aramco will sign eight deals worth $10 billion with French firms on Tuesday, the chief executive of the state-run oil giant said on Monday — the main contracts expected to be sealed during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to France.
The crown prince, who is behind modernizing reforms in Saudi Arabia, is on a three-day trip.
Amin Nasser told Saudi-run Al-Arabiya TV on Monday that his company would finalize the accords on Tuesday. A Saudi-France economic forum is due to take place on Tuesday with an official signing ceremony in the afternoon.
Aramco and French oil major Total plan to sign an agreement to Franceexpand their joint venture refinery in Saudi Arabia, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Total declined to comment and Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The prince is not due to sign mega-contracts in France as he did in the United States and Britain in the past month. A French presidency statement said the two leaders would work on a strategic document that would lead to contracts by the year’s end, when Macron travels to Saudi Arabia.
TOURISM AND CULTURE
They will also formally agree on Tuesday to cooperate on a massive tourism project that showcases Saudi history, part of the prince’s efforts to wean the country off a dependency on oil exports, open up its society and push social reform.
The two countries also said the Paris National Opera would help the Kingdom develop a national orchestra.
Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Al-Awwad said the Kingdom would officially participate for the first time in the Cannes Film Festival next month, with nine short films.


Saudi minister: OPEC+ will take responsible approach to virus

Updated 26 February 2020

Saudi minister: OPEC+ will take responsible approach to virus

  • Saudi Arabia supports the further oil production cut, but Russia is yet to announce its final position on the matter

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Tuesday he was confident that OPEC and its partner oil-producing nations, the so-called OPEC+ group, would respond responsibly to the spread of the coronavirus.

He also said Saudi Arabia and Russia would continue to engage regarding oil policy.

“Everything serious requires being attended to,” the minister, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, told reporters at an industry conference in Riyadh.

An OPEC+ committee this month recommended the group deepen its output cuts by an additional 600,000 barrels per day.

Saudi Arabia supports the further oil production cut, but Russia is yet to announce its final position on the matter.

The minister said he was still talking with Moscow and that he was confident of Riyadh’s partnership with the rest of the OPEC+ group.

“We did not run out of ideas, we have not closed our phones. There is always a good way of communicating through conference calls,” he said.

Regarding the coronavirus, which has impacted OPEC member Iran, he said OPEC+ members should not be complacent about the virus but added he was confident every OPEC+ member was a responsible and responsive producer.

The flu-like SARS-CoV-2 virus, which first broke out in China, has now spread to more than 20 countries.

“Of course there is an impact and we are assessing, but we’ll do whatever we can in our next meeting and we’ll address that issue,” UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei said at the same industry conference.

Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser on Monday said he expected a short-lived impact on oil demand.

“We think this is short term and I am confident that in the second half of the year there is going to be an improvement on the demand side, especially from China,” he said.

Oil climbed on Tuesday as investors sought bargains after crude benchmarks slumped almost 4 percent in the previous session, although concerns about the global spread of the virus capped gains.