ConocoPhillips exits Saudi Yanbu refinery project

21 April 2010 14:57  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--ConocoPhillips will stop participating in the planned Yanbu export refinery joint venture with Saudi Arabia’s state energy firm Saudi Aramco, the US oil and gas major said on Wednesday.

"We ultimately decided this project was not consistent with our current strategy to reduce our downstream footprint,” Willie Chiang, ConocoPhillips' senior vice president of refining, marketing and transportation, said.

He added the decision had been difficult, given that a recent re-bidding process resulted in significantly lower capital costs for the project.

Saudi Aramco confirmed it had received ConocoPhillips’ withdrawal notice. Aramco regretted ConocoPhillips’decision and was “evaluating options to progress the Yanbu project,” it said.

The Yanbu export refinery would, if realised, process Arabian heavy crude oil to produce 265,000 bbl/day of diesel and 90,000 bbl/day of gasoline, among other products, Aramco said.

Saudi Aramco and ConocoPhillips signed a memorandum of understanding on the project in 2006. At the time, they said the refinery would have a processing capacity of 400,000 bbl/day, with completion expected in 2011.

Earlier this month, ConocoPhillips said it would sell a stake in a Canadian oil sands project for $4.65bn (€3.44bn) to China’s Sinopec.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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