Ending speculations of will it or will it not, Saudi Arabia has finally made its entry into the Indian oil sector with Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil producer, signing an MoU with a consortium of Indian refiners to set up a mega refinery project here.
Ratnagiri will be among the world's largest "refining and petrochemicals projects and will be created to meet India's fast-growing fuels and petrochemicals demand".
"Furthermore, this project will enable us to strengthen our ties with Saudi Aramco, with whom we successfully operate our biggest and most efficient refinery in the world". In the last fiscal year, Iraq replaced Saudi Arabia as the largest supplier of crude oil to India.
It will provide half of the oil to be processed at the new refinery, Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih told reporters.
Saudi Aramco will supply at least 50% of the crude to be processed at the planned refinery, he said.
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The complex will be integrated downstream of the SATORP refinery, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Total, the French company announced April 10.
Hussan also said last month's decision by equity index compiler FTSE Russell to upgrade Saudi Arabia to emerging market status, and a similar decision which fund managers expect MSCI to make in June, would attract billions of dollars of fresh foreign money to the local market.
"We are trying to signal to markets, to investors, to the financial community, to worldwide companies to put investments back in upstream", he said. "We are tyring to signal to all the stakeholders that there will be certainly and that we will not sit by and let another glut re-surface in the coming year and bring the market".
"We are not desperate for listing".
Saudi Basic, the Middle East's dominant chemical maker, said on Saturday that it wants to build a Houston headquarters for its Western Hemisphere operations as the company capitalises on the surge in cheap natural gas supplies from North American shale fields. While the world's leading stock exchanges and governments have been busy lobbying Saudi Crown Prince.
In the interview Tuesday, 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.