SABIC in Shale Gas Deal With Unnamed US Supplier

20.04.2015 -

Saudi Arabian petrochemical giant SABIC has signed a deal to import shale gas from the US for use at its Teesside complex in the UK, acting chief executive Yousef Abdullah al-Benyan has told the news agency Reuters.

The executive did not reveal the name of the gas supplier, saying no agreement on disclosure had yet been reached.

Benyan said the timing and other details of the project, which he described as the first use of shale gas exported from the US Gulf in Britain, are planned to be announced during the third quarter. The gas will meet the company's "full demand" for the next ten years and is renewable beyond ten years, he added.

Former CEO Mohammed Al-Mady, who left the company in February to become president of Saudi Arabia's Military Industries Corp, had previously said SABIC was interested in importing US shale gas to upgrade its Teesside cracker.

Benyan said SABIC is still considering a proposal to build a plant to convert crude oil directly into chemicals, bypassing the refinery step. The proposal was originally announced by Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi early last year.

Asked if talks had been held with companies to develop the project, Benyan told Reuters that, "ideally SABIC would like to do the project by itself." Any partner "would need to make an important contribution and help to spread risks."