April 28, 2020 / 1:49 PM / a month ago

Total says Saudi Amiral project spared planned spending cuts

PARIS, April 28 (Reuters) - French energy major Total said its joint $5 billion petrochemical project with Saudi Aramco in the Saudi city of Jubail will not be hit by planned cuts in investment, although the partners were focused on controlling costs.

Total, like other oil companies, has announced deep cuts in spending, and is expected to shelve some projects after restrictions on movement to contain the coronavirus destroyed fuel demand and led to a collapse in the price of oil.

“The recently announced objective by Total to reduce its capital expenditure for 2020, including $500 million in the downstream sector, does not include this project,” Total said in a statement to Reuters on Tuesday.

It said the partners were focused on controlling the cost and engineering studies for the petrochemical complex located next to the Satorp refinery were underway.

The complex, which would comprise a mixed-feed cracker with the capacity to produce 1.5 million tonnes a year of ethylene, is expected to start in 2024, Total said, adding the partners were pursuing efforts to keep to the announced schedule. (Reporting by Bate Felix; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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