Saudi Aramco to develop $44 bln refinery complex on India's west coast

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It said the Ratnagiri complex "will rank among the largest world refining and petrochemicals projects and will be created to meet India's fast-growing fuels and petrochemicals demand".

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia - which is said to be aiming for oil near US$80 to pay for its own crowded policy agenda - is planning to sign a deal to participate in a refinery on India's west coast as part of its strategy to secure sources of consumption for its crude.

Aramco has also pledged billions of dollars for deals in Malaysia and Indonesia in the past year.

Apart from the refinery, cracker and downstream petrochemicals plants, the Ratnagiri project will also see development of associated facilities that include logistics, crude oil and product storage terminals, raw water supply project along with centralized and shared utilities.

The refinery will be capable of processing 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day (60 million metric tonnes per annum).

Saudi Arabia's small stock exchange is scrambling to prepare for the world's biggest initial public offering: shares in the country's oil driller Aramco.

Last month, Aramco awarded more than $8 billion worth of contracts to American firms to boost its USA refinery operations. "We are very respectful of the regulatory environment and we would work closely with the government to ease the introduction of Saudi Aramco into the retail sectors", he said.

"We are trying to signal to markets, to investors, to the financial community, to global companies to put investments back in upstream", he said.

The French oil group has signed a preliminary deal with Saudi Aramco to build what the companies described in a statement as a "giant" petrochemical complex in the kingdom.

Aramco may take a 50 percent equity stake in the project and can bring in another strategic investor, the person said.

"We believe oil prices will get higher in this year and also get higher in 2019, so we are trying to pick the right time", Prince Mohammed told the magazine in reference to the IPO.

India plans to expand its refining capacity by 77 percent to about 8.8 million barrels per day by 2030.

Saudi Arabia is one of the world's top three oil producers with Russian Federation and the United States, while Aramco is the biggest company putting oil on the world market now awash with product. Proceeds from the share sale should be used to expand the company's footprint in refining and petrochemicals, rather than in oil exploration and production, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said in a March 26 Bloomberg television interview in NY.

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

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