Among the participating companies are the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority; Al-Tamimi & Company, the largest corporate law firm in the Middle East; and Al Akaria Hanmi, a joint venture between HanmiGlobal and Al Akaria, the No. 1 developer in Saudi Arabia.
This world-class refinery, whose capacity increased from 400,000-barrel-per-day at its start-up in 2014 to 440,000-barrel-per-day today, is recognised as being one of the most efficient in the world, said the Saudi oil giant Aramco in a statement.
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, who was at the end of a two-week visit to the U.S., was also present at the signing of the MoU in Houston, along with Khalid al-Falih, the Saudi Energy Minister and Rick Perry, U.S. Energy Secretary. "Finally, it will contribute to the Vision 2030 of the Kingdom by creating 8,000 jobs and bringing in new high-added-value technologies".
"Saudi Aramco has a massive and highly ambitious investment program over the next decade, which is part of our portfolio expansion aspiration", Nasser said. The company has also offered an interest in petroleum retail business in India.
Aramco, like other major oil producers, wants to tap rising demand growth and invest in the world's third-biggest consumer. Past year it opened an office in New Delhi.
Exxon is separately proposing to build with another Aramco unit, Saudi Basic Industries Corp 2010.SE , a $9 billion petrochemical plant near Corpus Christi, that would process ethane.
Another day, another massive deal for Saudi Arabia's state oil giant.
According to an Indian Petroleum Ministry release, the project cost is estimated at around Rs 3 lakh crore ($44 billion) and while the Indian companies will jointly own 50 per cent stake in the venture, Saudi Aramco and an additional strategic partner will hold the balance equity.
The Port Arthur refinery has an approximate capacity of 600,000 bpd.
"Because of our significant supplies to the Chinese market we are looking at additions", Nasser said, adding his company hopes to close a deal with CNPC this year to buy a stake in a 260,000-bpd refinery in Yunnan.
The development also assumes significance in the backdrop of a supply cut by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec)-of which Saudi Arabia is a prominent member-and Russian Federation triggering a rally in global oil price. The kingdom is competing with Iraq to be India's top oil supplier, with Iraq having displaced it for the first time on an annual basis in 2017, data compiled by Reuters showed.