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Friday, March 18, 2011     GET REAL

Saudis signs Red Sea refinery deal with China

ABU DHABI — China and Saudi Arabia have signed an agreement for the development of an oil refinery.


Saudi Aramco said it signed an initial accord with China's Sinopec to develop the Yanbu refinery along the Red Sea.

Under the agreement, Sinopec would be given a 62.5 percent stake in the joint venture to develop Yanbu, with a capacity to refine 400,000 barrels of oil per day.

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In a statement on March 16, Aramco said Sinopec, which also signed a major deal in Kuwait, would be allowed to own all of the joint venture, called Red Sea Refining Co, Middle East Newsline reported. Aramco said this would depend on Sinopec's agreement to "formally participate" in the Yanbu project.

The Saudi kingdom selected Sinopec after the U.S. company ConocoPhillips withdrew from Yanbu in April 2010. Yanbu was expected to begin operations in 2014.

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