The US’ ConocoPhillips has pulled out of its planned $10bn joint venture refinery project with Saudi Aramco at Yanbu, both companies said in 21 April statements.

“The quality of Saudi Aramco as a partner and significantly reduced capital costs from the recent re-bidding process made it a very difficult decision for us,” said Willie Chiang, senior vice president for, refining, marketing and transportation at ConocoPhillips. “We ultimately decided this project was not consistent with our current strategy to reduce our downstream footprint. We value and look forward to continuing our relationship with Saudi Aramco.”

“Saudi Aramco today confirmed that it had received a formal written notice from ConocoPhillips of its withdrawal from the new export refinery project to be built at Yanbu on Saudi Arabia’s Western Red Sea coast,” Aramco says in the statement.

Engineering and oil executives tell MEED that Conoco wanted to concentrate on its $10bn joint venture development of the Shah sour gas field with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in the south of the emirate.