US and Saudi Arabian oil and chemical companies have signed deals worth tens of billions of dollars as part of a visit to the Middle East by US President Donald Trump.
Saudi Aramco is estimated to have signed deals worth US$50bn with US majors including GE and Honeywell. Meanwhile, ExxonMobil agreed to study building a new jointly-owned petrochemical complex in Texas, US.
A detailed breakdown of the deals has not been disclosed, but the following information about the major deals has been made public:
GE has agreed projects in Saudi Arabia worth US$15bn that cut across the oil and gas, mining, power, and healthcare sectors. This includes digitally transforming Saudi Aramco’s oil and gas operations using a private industrial internet of things (IIoT) cloud provided by GE that is targeting to make annual productivity improvements worth US$4bn.
Similar deals to advance the digitalisation of the country’s oil and gas industry have also been agreed with Honeywell and Emerson.
Dow Chemical agreed to build a manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia to produce polymers and coatings for water treatment applications. It will also carry out a feasibility study for a world-scale siloxanes and high-performance silicones complex. Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, who was enlisted by Trump late last year to lead a new US manufacturing council, has been appointed a co-chair of a new Saudi-US Forum that seeks to strengthen business relationships in the two countries.
Comments from companies involved in the deals often repeated the message that such projects will help advance Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative, which was launched last year in a bid to help the country diversify its economy away from oil.
There were deals for infrastructure projects in the US too, with ExxonMobil agreeing a partnership with SABIC to conduct a detailed study and plan the front-end engineering and design work for a petrochemical complex in San Patricio County, Texas. The site is expected to have an ethane cracker with a production capacity of 1.8m t/y of ethylene that would feed a monoethylene glycol unit and two polyethylene units. The companies say a final decision on the project is expected next year.
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