Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz, who is also President of the Supreme Council for Petroleum and Mineral Affairs, today chaired a meeting of the Council attended by Council Vice-Presidents Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz.
The Council, after reviewing developments in the global petroleum market and reaffirming the Saudi policy aimed at the stability of supply and maintenance of prices at reasonable levels, issued the following decisions:
1. The Council approved the Kingdom's natural gas strategy as prepared by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources. This strategy conforms to the development plans that aim at improving the citizens' standard of living, diversifying the nation's economic base, developing human resources, expanding infrastructure, and activating the role of the private sector. It further aims at development of an integrated gas industry in a way that positively contributes to diversification of sources of income, and calls for development of gas supplies and intensification of exploration in order to increase reserves of natural gas.
2. The Council approved the signing of preparatory agreements with a number of international petroleum companies for investment in the gas sector and implementation of three pivotal investment projects that include production of electric power and desalinated water as well as development of the natural gas and petrochemical industries. Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, who is also supervisor of the team negotiating with the international petroleum companies, was delegated to sign these agreements.
3. Approval of the amendment of Saudi Aramco's working plan for the fall of this year.
Following the meeting, King Fahd witnessed the signing of the preparatory agreements for development of the gas sector by the Saudi government and representatives from international petroleum companies. He expressed the hope that the petroleum companies will be successful in carrying out the agreements for the mutual benefit of all concerned, noting how these agreements can serve the nation's economy.
On the Saudi side, the agreements were signed by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal as supervisor of the negotiating team. On the side of the companies the agreements were signed by the presidents of Exxon-Mobil, Shell, BP, and Phillips, for the first gas project in the north of the Empty Quarter; by the presidents of Exxon-Mobil, Occidental, and Marathon, for the second gas project in the area of the Red Sea and in the northwest of the Kingdom; and by the presidents of Shell, TotalFinaElf, and Conoco for the third gas project, at Al-Shaybah field and in the southeast of the Empty Quarter.