(Updates with background)
KUALA LUMPUR Feb 22 Malaysia's state oil firm
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and Saudi Aramco are expected
to sign an agreement to collaborate in Malaysia's Refinery and
Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project, two
industry sources said on Wednesday.
Petronas and Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of
Saudi Arabia, appear to be closer to agreeing to terms after
sources told Reuters last month that Aramco was suspending a
planned partnership in RAPID, a $27 billion refining and
petrochemical complex in Malaysia's southern state of Johor.
An agreement is expected to be signed on Monday, said one of
the sources who has knowledge of the matter and declined to be
identified, during a visit by Saudi Arabia's King Salman to
Malaysia. Neither of the sources had any firm details on the
particulars of the agreement.
Saudi Aramco declined to comment and a Petronas spokesman
said the company could not "offer any comment at this point in
The RAPID project is designed to process 300,000 barrels a
day of crude oil and produce 7.7 million tonnes a year of
petrochemicals. The facility is planned as part of Petronas'
Pengerang Integrated Complex that will include RAPID and oil
Petronas had said last month that RAPID is on track for
start-up in 2019, and that its development had reached the 54
percent progress mark to date.
The Malaysian state oil firm has been struggling with the
slump in global oil prices and has cut its expenditures in the
past year. It has also slashed its dividend payouts to the
Petronas is expected to announce its fourth quarter results
on March 14.
(Reporting by Emily Chow and Reem Shamseddine; Editing by