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.
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
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
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.
conference will also work out a plan to share information in the
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
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