Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal today announced the names of the eight international energy companies that have been approved by the Supreme Council for Petroleum and Minerals (SCPM) for various investment opportunities in three of the Kingdom's vast natural gas fields. Prince Saud heads the national team that has been negotiating with the international oil companies, together with Minister of Petroleum and Minerals Ali Al-Naimi, Minister of Industry and Electricity Dr. Hashim Yamani, Minister of Finance and National Economy Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf, and Minister of Planning Khalid Al-Qusaibi.
The companies selected are Exxon-Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum, Phillips, Enron, Occidental, TotalFinaElf and Conoco.
Prince Saud explained that the first core project, located to the north of the Empty Quarter, will be implemented by a consortium consisting of Exxon-Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum, and Phillips. The second core project, located along the Red Sea coast in the northwestern part of the Kingdom, will be implemented by a consortium comprising Exxon-Mobil, Occidental, and Enron. The third core project, at Al-Sheibah field in the southeastern part of the Empty Quarter will be implemented by a consortium consisting of Royal Dutch Shell, TotalFinaElf, and Conoco. The head of the consortium for the third project is Royal Dutch Shell; the heads for the other two are still to be announced.
During the coming week, preparatory agreements with the companies selected will be signed in order to identify and design the projects, determine the sums to be invested, and set up timetables.