InterviewExxonMobil Chem open to new China, Middle East projects

08 December 2009 22:15  [Source: ICIS news]

ExxonMobil on the lookout for new projectsBy Pearl Bantillo

DUBAI (ICIS news)--Energy giant ExxonMobil remains on the lookout for more projects in China and the Middle East – markets that are vital to the group's overall business strategy, a company executive said on Tuesday.

The strong demand from China and the emergence of the Middle East as the biggest net exporter of petrochemical products in the world make further investments appealing, ExxonMobil Chemical president Stephen Pryor told ICIS news in an interview.

The group has just fully ramped up production at its new petrochemical facility in Fujian, China – a joint venture with Saudi Aramco, Sinopec and the Fujan province, said Pryor.

“We are open to opportunities in China. China is an important market for all of us,” he said.

“Our focus now is on making that [Fujian] plant perform well. I'm certain in the future that would lead to further opportunities.”

ExxonMobil's project in Singapore, which upon completion will be the company's biggest petrochemical hub in the world, would also cater to China's strong demand, said Pryor.

“The products [from Singapore] can travel everywhere but when we built Singapore, it was really a bet on China,” he said.

In the Middle East, ExxonMobil is currently working on a multi-billion dollar elastomers project with Saudi Aramco and on a development of a grassroots petrochemical project in Ras Laffan through a tie-up with Qatar Petroleum.

“We continue our efforts on that. Those are the projects that are in active work today but we remain open and interested in other opportunities in the Middle East when they present themselves,” said Pryor.

The Middle East has about a quarter of the world's current net exports of primary petrochemicals, which underscores the region's importance to ExxonMobil, he said

“Over the next 10 years, we expect world trade of these products to double and the Middle East should capture as much as 75% of the net exports. So the trade out of this region is extremely important and we view the region strategically in that context,” said the ExxonMobil executive.

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By: Pearl Bantillo
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