investments in gas and related projects will lead to the
diversification of the Kingdom’s economic base, according to a top
official of the Conoco Arabia Inc.
Conoco Arabia Inc.
President J. Brooks Buxton expected investments exceeding $45 billion
in the three proposed gas projects by foreign investments in the next
with their accompanying economic and industrial activities will,
undoubtedly, convert Saudi Arabia, into an investment hub supplying
the local demands for power in full,” the president said. Side by
side with development of gas projects, the supply network will also
develop to carry the gas inside and outside the Kingdom, he said.
Arabia’s entry into this Saudi project will be a foundation for the
new phase in its partnership with the Kingdom and we will work to
achieve a leading position for the Kingdom.”
Buxton, who has
been working in the Kingdom for the last 40 years, said the
international gas companies should invest directly in various key
developmental sectors. “This will help achieve the Saudi economic
strategy of diversifying the economic base, changing the current
petroleum-dominated economic equation and developing the
infrastructure for overall industrial development.” The reduced
emphasis on petrol is the driving principle which makes the government
interested in the participation of international majors in gas
projects, he added.
He revealed that
Conoco planned to invest $5 billion directly in the early stages of
the work on the project with close cooperation with the Saudi private
“I believe that
the amount of investment will triple as the projects need continuous
update of technology, expansion of the base and production lines as
well as additional investment in the manpower training programs,”
the president said.
He also expected to
increase his company’s budget allocated for the Saudi Arabian
projects several times in the next five years so as to meet the
increasing needs of company’s other support projects.
He also said the
local banking sources would be capable of providing the financial
support for the vast development in the Saudi power sector and
providing employment opportunities for young Saudis. A favorable
climate for industrial and economic investments will also guarantee
the return of the huge investments going out of the country, the chief
executive of Conoco noted.
Conoco has drawn up
a special scheme to train the local manpower for advanced technical
jobs. The scheme is currently being implemented in other nations such
as Russia, Venezuela, and Libya where the company has huge
investments. The scheme will train the local hands who will man 75
percent of the jobs.
feature of the Saudi projects is that they are based on a strong
industrial foundation with cheap energy sources and raw materials. The
projects will enable the Kingdom to supply power for local needs at a
The projects will
also enable the Kingdom to meet the energy needs of the neighboring
Gulf countries at a competitive price and later of the distant
countries of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.
from diversifying and reinforcing the economic base, the abundance of
energy will, apparently, attract both local and international
investments to the Kingdom, he observed.