Saudi Aramco and US-based Jacobs have agreed to form a joint venture company based in Saudi Arabia to provide programme and construction management services for social infrastructure projects in the kingdom.

Jacobs says the new company’s services will include a full-spectrum of project and construction management services across all phases of the project lifecycle for social infrastructure projects. The company will also help train and help create quality jobs for Saudi nationals.

The new body is expected to sell its services to other government bodies in Saudi Arabia that are developing infrastructure. It is estimated that the potential workload will require some 15,000 staff.

The new project management company will take considerable strain away from Aramco, which in recent years has been relied upon to deliver some of the kingdom’s biggest construction projects.

Sources close to Aramco have repeatedly said these projects have diverted the oil company’s attention away from its core hydrocarbon businesses. It is the world’s largest oil firm and produces about 10 million barrels of oil a-day.

Multibillion-dollar schemes managed by Aramco include the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (Kaust) and the King Abdullah Sports City development near Jeddah, the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies Research Centre (Kapsarc) in Riyadh, and the King Abdulaziz Centre for Knowledge & Culture in the Eastern Province.

Consultants had been competing to establish the joint venture company since 2015 and Aramco began negotiations with several firms in 2016.