Davos: Saudi’s SABIC expects to enter U.S. shale market this year

Saudi Basic Industries ‘in talks with a few big names’, says CEO

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Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) is in talks with several U.S. firms to invest in the U.S. shale gas industry, and expects to enter the market this year, Chief Executive Mohamed al-Mady said on Wednesday.

“We’re currently in talks with a few big names in the U.S. for investment in shale gas. We expect to enter the market sometime this year. This will be great for SABIC and will globalize our operations,” he said.

Mady, speaking to Reuters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, later said the investment would be in downstream operations. He did not elaborate on the size or type of U.S. shale gas operations that SABIC was contemplating, or reveal its potential partners.

Last year Mady said SABIC, one of the world's biggest petrochemical producers, planned to build a shale gas cracker in the United States.

Any investment would not be heavy in the initial stages, Mady said on Wednesday, adding the company had no urgent funding needs so he doubted it would tap the bond market this year.

“We hope our profit will increase next year. There won’t be any significant investment in the coming two to three years. Most of the shale investment will come in 2017.”

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