Saudi Aramco signs US$44bn MoU to build refinery in India

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Yemen's Houthi movement said on Wednesday it had launched a drone strike on a facility owned by oil giant Saudi Aramco in southern Saudi Arabia - though the company said its sites there were operating "normally and safely".

Saudi Arabia has scored a big new investment from France's Total. Falih said state-owned Saudi Aramco can bring in another strategic partner as an worldwide company has already shown interest in having a partnership with the company on the project.

Saudi Arabia's state-owned Saudi Aramco last Saturday took the initial steps to expand into petrochemicals, in the US - a project which could also double the size of America's largest refinery.

India is particularly mouthwatering for Saudi Arabia, as its demand for crude oil is expected to grow at a higher rate than even China.

The 1.2-million bpd Reliance Industries refinery in Jamnagar, India, has the world's largest crude oil processing capacity.

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 capitalizes on the surge in cheap natural gas supplies from North American shale fields.

Nasser also noted the opening in 2017 of Aramco Asia's New Delhi office with a mandate to expand Saudi Aramco's global portfolio in this key economic growth region.

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India outlined plans in February to expand its refining capacity by 77 percent to about 8.8 million bpd by 2030.

The mega refinery is likely to be completed in seven years and may see Saudi Aramco bringing in other partners such as Abu Dhabi National Oil Company that have shown interest in joining the project. Thereafter, the refinery was set up by HPCL in joint venture with steel baron Lakshmi N Mittal.

"Because of our significant supplies to the Chinese market we are looking at additions", Nasser said, adding his company hopes to close a deal with CNPC this year to buy a stake in a 260,000-bpd refinery in Yunnan.

Saudi Arabia was "extremely concerned" when oil approached United States dollars 150 a barrel in 2007 as they ultimately crash due to over-supply and reduction in demand. "If not, we will wait until 2019", Mohammed al-Jadaan told AFP in an interview at a French-Saudi forum in Paris, referring to the planned initial public offering (IPO) of shares in Aramco, tipped to be the world's biggest.

The other memorandum of understanding would allow Aramco to use TechnipFMC's mixed-feed ethylene production technologies in the US.

Nasser said he was not anxious by rising supplies from regional rivals to India.

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