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Saudi Arabia aims to export gas, petrochemicals soon: energy minister

February 17/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest crude exporter, plans to add gas and petrochemicals to its slate of exports and will soon make a major announcement on the topic, reported S&P Global with reference to the country's energy minister's statement on Sunday.

"Soon you will hear about the ability of the kingdom to be a gas exporter and a petrochemical exporter," Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said in a televised speech. He didn't provide further details.

Saudi Arabia has been ramping up exploration for gas to help feed an expanding industrial base and to replace crude with gas in power generation. The kingdom plans to produce 70% of its power from gas and 30% from renewable energy, the minister has previously stated. Currently the country burns mostly oil to produce power.

Last March, former Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih announced the discovery of large amounts of gas in the Red Sea, without specifying the amount found.

Saudi Aramco, the state-run energy giant that is the world's biggest oil producing company, had output of 8.9 billion standard cubic feet/day of natural gas and 1 Bscf/d of ethane in 2018. Its gas reserves at the end of 2018 stood at 233.8 Tscf.

Aramco is also in the midst of taking over SABIC, the Middle East's largest petrochemical producer. It announced a deal last year to acquire a 70% stake in the Riyadh-based company for USD69 billion. Aramco had a net and gross chemical production capacity of 16.7 million tons/year and 33.2 million tons/year, respectively at the end of 2018, according to its IPO prospectus. The company will release its full-year 2019 results on March 16.

At the end of 2018, SABIC's total annual production was 75.3 million tons, including 61.8 million tons of petrochemical and specialty products.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC's largest oil producer by far, pumped 9.74 million b/d in January, according to the latest S&P Global Platts OPEC survey, as exports were largely stable while refinery runs were down due to planned maintenance. That is 400,000 b/d below its quota of 10.14 million b/d as it seeks higher oil prices to carry out major economic reforms.

As MRC informed before, in October 2018, Saudi Aramco signed an agreement to invest in a refinery-petrochemical project in eastern China, part of its strategy to expand in downstream operations globally.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,093,260 tonnes in 2019, up by 6% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. PE shipments rose from both domestic producers and foreign suppliers. The estimated PP consumption in the Russian market was 1,260,400 tonnes in January-December 2019, up by 4% year on year. Supply of almost all grades of propylene polymers increased, except for statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers).

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national oil and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco"s value has been estimated at up to USD10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world"s most valuable company. Saudi Aramco has both the largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels, and largest daily oil production.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies. The company is among the world's market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, PP random copolymer, petrochemistry, Sabic, Saudi Aramco, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia.
Category:General News
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