Saudi Aramco Sees Progress on Chemical Project Plan with SABIC by Year-End
Saudi Aramco expects to decide by the end of 2017 on plans for a joint oil-to-chemicals project with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), according to Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser. The project, known as COTC, is a key to plans for a chemicals complex costing $20 billion or more. It is the first major scheme involving the two state giants. “We finished the feasibility. We are at a stage where we need to work together and make some decision about proceeding with the project with SABIC,” said Nasser. He added that a decision was expected “before the year-end”. Source: Reuters, 10/24/2017.
TCGR Note: The topic of “oil-to-chemicals” is a hot subject area within industry today. The trends supporting the notion that chemical plants do not need to run a refinery naphtha feedstock are growing and include, but are not limited to, the fact that the world is awash with light crude oil and condensates that can more easily be converted into chemicals and crude oil is, and likely will continue to be, relatively cheap. Also, direct ethane cracking to ethylene is even more common, which changes the dynamic, and there are new or adapted catalytic process technologies that can now swing from 60 wt% olefins to 60 wt% aromatics that make crude to chemicals production more attractive. For more information, see TCGR’s multi-client study entitled “Oil-to-Chemicals: Technological Approaches and Advanced Process Configurations”.