Saudi oil giant Aramco will buy an equity stake in Malaysian firm Petronas' major refining and petrochemical project, pumping in $7 billion in its biggest downstream investment outside the kingdom, the companies said on Tuesday.
The deal will boost Aramco's downstream business ahead of a planned initial public offering next year and also bolsters Malaysia's state-controlled Petroliam Nasional Bhd—known as Petronas—after it cut spending because of the slump in oil prices, Reuters reported. In a joint statement, the firms said Aramco will take a 50% stake in select ventures and assets in the refinery and petrochemical integrated development project developed by Petronas. Signing of the deal was witnessed by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Saudi King Salman, currently on a state visit to Malaysia—the first in over a decade. "Malaysia offers tremendous growth opportunities and today's agreement further strengthens Saudi Aramco's position as the leading supplier of petroleum feedstock to Malaysia and Southeast Asia," Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said.
A spokesman of the Afghan ministry of oil and gas rejected media reports claiming that the country has stopped crude imports from Iran.
Turkey has closed its ports to Iranian oil, fully complying with US sanctions against its main supplier, despite Ankara publicly criticizing the United States’ move to end import waivers and warning of a struggle to tap alternative producers.
The United States is increasing its oil imports from Russia, according to a Bloomberg source, as US refineries clamor for more oil now that refineries oil supplies have dried up.
Oil prices rose on Tuesday on escalating US-Iran tensions and amid expectations that producer club OPEC will continue to withhold supply this year.
Oil-to-metals conglomerate Vedanta Ltd said on Tuesday it had been declared the preferred bidder for two copper blocks in the India's western state of Maharashtra.
Iran is due to offer 10,000 tons of light naphtha, 2,000 tons of heavy naphtha and large cargoes of petrochemical products to domestic buyers through its energy bourse on Sunday, in a direct sale to bypass the US unilateral sanctions.