Aramco, CB&I & CLG sign Joint Development Agreement to scale up technology

Three-way pact


Saudi Gazette

Dhahran– Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) through its wholly-owned subsidiary Saudi Aramco Technologies, Thursday signed a three-party Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with CB&I, a US-based leading provider of technology and infrastructure for the energy industry, and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG), a joint venture between CB&I and Chevron USA Inc., and a leading process technology licensor.

The joint development agreement will serve to scale up and commercialize Saudi Aramco’s Thermal Crude to Chemicals (TC2C) technology. This innovative technology has been pioneered at Saudi Aramco’s Research & Development Center over the past few years in order to enable higher chemicals yield than previously achievable. This innovation also bypasses conventional refining steps by employing a proprietary direct conversion process. This proprietary technology represents significant innovative progress and complements Saudi Aramco’s crude-to-chemicals conventional projects. The innovative and conventional approaches together enable and accelerate the growth of Saudi Aramco’s chemicals business.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin H. Nasser said, “Saudi Aramco is going beyond the quick wins and is instead prioritizing investments in groundbreaking R&D and technology. Today’s Joint Development Agreement with CB&I and CLG is a technological first which will position Saudi Aramco to maximize the value of each barrel of crude oil it produces in the near future. This is a further opportunity for Saudi Aramco to contribute to the development of a stronger, more diversified Saudi economy, one that creates high value employment opportunities for young Saudis in a further realization of Vision 2030 objectives.”

Taking questions from newsmen present at the signing ceremony, Aramco president expressed his optimism at the market stability during 2018. He said OPEC members were sticking to their quota limits. He said if the global oil trend continued its current pattern and the OPEC members remained committed to their quota, 2018 will witness growth in the market and the price reaching reasonable stage. He also attributed decline in production in the US and European Union as another reason for improved market environ for Saudi crude. He said non-OPEC oil producing countries were also supporting OPEC quota and as a result the market tends to improve for all the producers.

Saudi Aramco’s Chief Technology Officer Ahmad A. Khowaiter said, “We are delighted to be working with our partners to fully realize the immense potential of this groundbreaking technology. This partnership will enable us to leverage the unique strengths of our companies to accelerate the scale-up and de-risking of the technology, while reiterating Saudi Arabia’s global leadership in crude oil and commodities production. This will support the Kingdom’s efforts toward industrial diversification, job creation and technology leadership in Saudi Arabia through downstream conversion of chemicals.”

It is an honor to partner with Saudi Aramco to develop the most competitive processing solution for crude to chemicals, said Patrick K. Mullen, CB&I’s president and chief executive officer. “This is a unique integration of advanced technology processes for the production of high-value petrochemicals from crude oil, and our three companies are best positioned to do so,” he said.

“CLG’s hydro processing technologies and CB&I’s ethylene cracker technology combined with Saudi Aramco’s proprietary thermal crude to chemicals technology will provide a strong foundation for this joint development,” said Leon de Bruyn, CLG’s managing director. “We are excited to be partnering with Saudi Aramco and making a positive impact on our industry by demonstrating an innovative approach to crude to chemicals.” — SG