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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) never had any plan to withdraw from the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project in Johor

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Aramco denies Rapid pullout rumour, says it is here to stay

NST

KUALA LUMPUR: Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) never had any plan to withdraw from the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project in Johor, said its president and chief executive officer Amin H. Nasser today.
In denying previous news reports that the company had given up on the US$27 billion (RM119.8 billion) downstream oil and gas project in Pengerang, Amin said Saudi Aramco entered negotiations with Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) with the intention to stay and build a strong partnership.
“We started negotiations three years ago and we saw it (Rapid) as a very significant project.
“From the beginning, we knew that the negotiations would end with the signing of a partnership (with Petronas).
“During the discussions, there were no plans to pull out or break out from the agreement,” Amin told a press conference after signing a Share Purchase Agreement with Petronas today.
He said Saudi Aramco had full teams working with Petronas to iron out the details of the partnership.
“When news first broke out (that Saudi Aramco had withdrawn), we didn’t want to elaborate because we were preparing the agreement. It was only a matter of time before we celebrate (our partnership).
“Today, we are celebrating this partnership,” he said.
Present were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Saudi Arabia’s Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid A. Falih and Petronas president and group CEO Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.
Meanwhile, Abdul Rahman also denied the claim, saying there was never a decision by Saudi Aramco to withdraw from the negotiations.
“That’s why when news articles came out, both Saudi Aramco and Petronas did not confirm the authenticity of the reports.
“The RM31 billion investment (by Saudi Aramco) is a signal of the foreign investors’ confidence in the economy despite huge economic challenges,” he said.

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