• Saudi Basic Industries Corporation net profits for the first half were SR10.1bn ($2.7bn), 21.6 per cent down on H1 2014
  • Second quarter net profits recovered from a disastrous first quarter to reach SR6.2bn
  • Sabic plans to invest in US shale gas, in joint venture with a local firm

Saudi Arabia’s leading petrochemicals producer Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) has announced a 21.6 per cent fall in net profits over the first half of 2015 to SR10.1bn ($2.7bn), compared to the first half of 2014.

The second quarter net profits only decreased by 4.5 per cent to SR6.2bn, compared to the same period last year.

This was a marked improvement on Q1 when net profits plummeted by 39 per cent to SR3.93bn compared to the first quarter of 2014 due to lower oil prices.

The lower profits were due to a fall in the sale price of products, although prices recovered by 20 per cent in the second quarter, acting CEO of Sabic Yousef Abdullah al-Benyan told a press conference in Riyadh.

Sabic increased its second quarter production by 2 per cent due to higher demand, and reduced its operating costs.

Sabic is planning to expand its investment in US shale gas projects through joint ventures, according to local press reports. Al-Benyan announced that Sabic had signed an agreement with Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners, which would allow it access to feedstock for its international projects. Sabic’s crackers in the UK have been converted to use shale gas as feedstock.

Within the kingdom, Sabic is yet to publicise its decision on a planned $500m – $800m acrylonitrile plant in Jubail, in joint venture with Technology Partners Japan’s Mitsubishi and Asahi Kasei. Revised financial bids for the 200,000 tonne-a-year (t/y) acrylonitrile plant alongside a 40,000 t/y sodium cyanide facility have been under evaluation since January.