France's Total and state oil firm Saudi Aramco remain interested in expanding petrochemical production at their joint refining project in Saudi Arabia, Satorp, said a senior Total executive told on Tuesday.
Jean-Jacques Mosconi, senior vice president for refining and petrochemicals in the Middle East and Asia, said the expansion would be large and involve production of linear alpha olefins, poly alpha olefins and elastomers.
However, he said the partners would need to solve the issue of obtaining natural gas supplies before moving on to detailed studies of the project, which the companies have been considering for several years.
"Total and Aramco remain interested in this project but to launch it we need gas allocations, and we are working on that," said Mosconi.
Saudi petrochemical companies have been struggling to expand production because of limited gas supplies, although the kingdom is spending billions of dollars on locating and developing new supplies.
Satorp, located in Jubail, is a 400,000 barrel-per-day refinery complex which produces about 1 million tonnes of petrochemicals annually.