Last updateTue, 02 Jan 2018 3am

KBR wins Saudi Aramco Offshore Project Management Services Contract

KBR, Inc. has announced that it has been awarded a project management contract by Saudi Aramco to provide project management services for Saudi Aramco’s offshore program.

Under the terms of this six-year contract, KBR will provide project management and engineering services for existing and new offshore facilities to maintain and increase crude production levels to meet Saudi Aramco’s maximum sustained capability for production under the company’s capital program. KBR’s Saudi joint venture company, KBR-AMCDE, will undertake all in-kingdom work scopes while KBR’s Houston and London operations centers will execute all out-of-kingdom scopes. Additionally, KBR-AMCDE will develop an in-kingdom center of engineering excellence to develop and train Saudi engineers.

“This is a significant milestone in our relationship with Saudi Aramco in the offshore arena and complements our existing work in Kingdom on the Jazan PMC and GES+ contracts,” said Stuart Bradie, KBR President and CEO. “We look forward to helping Saudi Aramco achieve its goal to develop an in-kingdom center of offshore engineering excellence and to maintain their production of oil and gas.”

KBR has had a strong presence in the Middle East for decades, working on several major petrochemical projects in Saudi Arabia, including providing Saudi Aramco with front end engineering and design and project management services for the Jazan Refinery, the Yanbu Refinery and the Shaybah NGL program.

Saudi's PetroRabigh signs $5.2bn loan for expansion

Reuters: Saudi Arabia's PetroRabigh , a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical, has signed loans worth 19.4 billion riyals ($5.2 billion) for the expansion of its petrochemicals complex, it said on Tuesday.  The move reflects the kingdom's determination to diversify its economy even after lower oil prices caused some regional petrochemical and energy projects to stall.  News of the financing initially sent PetroRabigh shares soaring 5.9 percent to 24 riyals, before they fell back to trade 3.9 percent up at 1030 GMT.

The scheme's cost is now estimated at 30 billion riyals, it said, a further revision to the price, which was scaled up to 32 billion riyals last May from the original 26.3 billion. It gave no reason for the latest revision. The total loan, maturing in June 2031, includes 7.5 billion riyals from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and 4.9 billion riyals from the state-owned Public Investment Fund, a statement from the firm said.  The rest is from a consortium of local and international banks, who would respectively put in 3.5 billion riyals. Among the funders were Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Saudi British Bank andAl Rajhi Bank.

The statement added a 7.5 billion riyals equity bridge loan had also been agreed, which will mature in 2019 and be guaranteed by Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical. Usually, such a facility is to cover initial construction and start-up costs.

McDermott wins Qatar offshore feed contract

Reuters: McDermott International, a leading provider of integrated engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) services, said it has been awarded a large project for a new jacket, temporary deck and replacement umbilical by Qatar Petroleum for the North Field Alpha gas development, offshore Qatar.

The work is expected to be executed through the second quarter of 2016 and will be included in McDermott’s first quarter 2015 backlog, said the company in a statement. The brownfield contract includes front-end engineering design verification, detailed EPCI and commissioning of a new six-legged, 15-slot wellhead jacket and temporary drill deck, with a total weight of approximately 5,000 tons.

The work also includes the decommissioning, removal, replacement and pre-commissioning of 2.6 miles of composite umbilical and a fiber optic cable, in the Maydan Mahzam field.

Commenting on the win, Tom Mackie, the vice president, Middle East, said: "For more than 30 years, McDermott has successfully delivered numerous projects for Qatar Petroleum and its partners in Qatar’s North Field, and we are pleased to further build on this relationship, as they focus on enhancing their oil recovery and production capability."

Detailed engineering, procurement and construction is expected to be carried out by McDermott’s specialist teams in Dubai, UAE, with vessels from the McDermott global fleet scheduled to undertake the installation work in 2016.

“We believe our ability to provide a fully integrated EPCI solution from one centralised location in Dubai will enable us to be more effective at ensuring certainty of delivery across all stages of the project allowing for more scheduling flexibility, and higher quality and safety, which is critical when working within an actively producing field, to ensure minimal operational interruption,” he added

Bahrain oil refinery expansion to cost $5 billion

An expansion of Bahrain's Sitra crude oil refinery is expected to cost around $5 billion and the facility is likely to be commissioned by 2019, the kingdom's energy minister said on Tuesday.

"We have the refinery modernisation which will cost around $5 billion. Already front-end engineering and design (FEED) has been awarded - FEED should be ready by the end of the first quarter of 2016," Abdul-Hussain bin Ali Mirza told Reuters.

"The increase in capacity according to the current plan is from 260,000 barrels per day to 360,000 and it will be commissioned by 2019." He added, "Financing will be through borrowing, we haven't finalised this yet."

Bahrain lacks the ample crude oil and financial resources of the big Gulf energy exporters, and its state finances are under heavy pressure from the plunge of oil prices since last year. But Bahraini officials have said they will press ahead with key projects that are needed to develop the economy.

Construction of a pipeline between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which will replace an ageing one and lift capacity to 350,000 bpd from 230,000, is expected to be finished by 2018, Mirza said. Previously, officials had estimated the pipeline would be completed by the third quarter of 2016. Mirza did not give a reason for the change.

He added that this year Bahrain would ask companies to bid to explore offshore blocks for oil and gas. He did not give a specific date or say which companies would participate as a roadshow for investors has not taken place yet.

The chief executive of Bahrain's National Oil and Gas Holding Co, Mohamed al-Khalifa, told reporters on Monday that the launch of the bidding round "will depend on the situation of the market".

Mirza said in a speech late on Sunday that his country had completed a pilot project to generate 5 megawatts of solar power and was close to launching another pilot plant to generate 3 MW of solar power and 2 MW of wind power.

Egypt to build 4,300 MW power plants

power_plant.jpgBy Reuters: Egypt is planning to build solar and wind power plants in the next three years with a combined capacity of 4,300 MW, said a report.  Egypt's economy is showing signs of picking up after being damaged by political turmoil in recent years, with difficulties accessing hard currency and energy shortages among other problems, and has begun economic reforms under President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi.

The government hopes an investment conference later this month will attract billions of dollars of foreign money to help develop the economy.  Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes said it was studying investments in renewable energy and hopes to start a leasing business in its home country within months as it looks to take advantage of improving economic sentiment.

"We hope to launch a leasing business during the first half of 2015, subject to regulatory approvals, as the opening move in a number of new expansion projects for the bank, which could lead to extending its business into sub-Saharan Africa in time," remarked chief executive Karim Awad.

"We want to expand (our private equity) business and we're looking very actively into Egypt today and the renewable sector," Awad told Reuters on the sidelines of a media event hosted by the bank. EFG, he stated, was expecting to play a key role in both attracting cash and putting its own money to work.

The Egyptian bank also wants to expand its operations, which include brokerage, asset management and advisory services, in the Gulf region and consolidate its leading position in its home market.  This includes listing companies on the Egyptian bourse, where it is currently advising Orascom Construction on its spin-off and dual-listing in Egypt and Dubai (UAE) and Emaar Misr, the Egyptian arm of Dubai developer Emaar Properties.

"It's an extremely positive sign," said Awad of the new listings. He declined to say how many deals the bank was working on but indicated all were in interesting sectors including food and beverages.