Selection nears on Yanbu export refinery project

13 January 2006
Saudi Aramcocompleted in late October the first round of discussions with three shortlisted international oil companies (IOCs) - ConocoPhillips, Chevron Corporationand ExxonMobil Corporation- looking to acquire an equity stake in its grassroots export refinery to be built at Yanbu. About 10 IOCs were invited to submit bids for the stake, with the other prequalifiers including the Royal/Dutch Shell Group, the UK's BP, China National Oil Corporation, Italy's Eni, France's Total and an Indian team of Indian Oil Corporationwith Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL- MEED 30:9:05).
One of the shortlisted bidders, ConocoPhillips, has already received bids from at least three companies - Parsons E&C, part of Australia's WorleyParsons, and Foster Wheelerand Jacobs Engineering, both of the US - for a front-end loading (FEL) contract covering pre-feasibility studies for the new refinery.

The next stage in the project implementation will be the issue of tenders for detailed cost analysis and process design.

The estimated $5,000 million refinery will have nameplate capacity of 400,000 barrels a day and will be designed to process heavy fuels to produce gasoline, diesel, petroleum coke, bitumen and vacuum gas-oil (VGO), besides other clean fuels.

In September, Parsons E&C submitted a study for the project. The study recommended the utilisation of three process streams to be driven by a varying mix of feedstock.

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