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A major conference on oil refining and petrochemicals, “Petronic 2001”, will start on Oct. 29
Riyadh, 14th August 2001

 A major conference on oil refining and petrochemicals, “Petronic 2001”, will start on Oct. 29 in the Bahraini capital Manama. It will provide a forum for the oil producing countries of the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, to discuss a range of issues including the oil market, oil production, energy security and demand parameters.

The Petronic Organizing Committee has so far received 177 working papers which will be presented at this three-day event, said Khalid Al-Nifais, a Saudi Aramco official who heads the committee.

The move to hold this conference is significant in view of the fact that the competitive technology to be applied in the refining and petrochemical sector is of vital importance to the regional economy. If the policy of pursuing new technology fails and energy supply comes to a halt or goes down, the industrial sector will be the first to suffer the repercussions.

The conference will also provide new guidelines on how to face challenges in the refining and petrochemical sectors considering that 64 percent — or some 674 billion barrels of world reserves of crude oil — reside in the countries of the Arabian Gulf region. The latest projections show that the world will consume more oil in 10 years’ time, with demand rising from around 75 million bpd in 1999 to over 90 million bpd in 2010.

According to the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES), world oil demand is expected to reach 103 million bpd by the year 2020. Most of this growth in demand will occur in developing countries, said MEES, which added that oil exporters today get less than 20 percent of the price of a refined barrel while bearing most of the responsibility for the high price of oil and petroleum products.

This Manama conference will also work out a plan to share information in the refining sector.

Saudi Arabia, with its extensive oil and gas resources, has a greater responsibility to work in cooperation with other oil producers in the region in order to achieve the desired level of stability in oil market.

More investment by developed countries in oil-exporting countries is needed so that they can diversify their economies and lessen their dependence on oil export revenues.

Saudi Aramco is one of the main sponsors of this regional conference, which will also focus on a range of other issues from technology and marketing to investment in the oil, oil refining and petrochemical sectors.

Source: SPA

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