As prince visits, Saudi Aramco to sign $10 billion of deals in France

As prince visits, Saudi Aramco to sign $10 billion of deals in France
# 10 April 2018 02:40 (UTC +04:00)

Saudi Aramco will sign eight deals worth $10 billion with French firms on Tuesday, the chief executive of the state-run oil giant said on Monday - the main contracts expected to be sealed during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to France, APA reports quoting Reuters.

The powerful young prince who is behind modernizing reforms in Saudi Arabia is on a three-day trip at a time when relations between the two countries have become more complicated, including over how to address Iran’s role in the region.

Amin Nasser told Saudi-run Al Arabiya TV on Monday that his company would finalize the accords on Tuesday. A Saudi-France economic forum is due to take place on Tuesday with an official signing ceremony in the afternoon.

Aramco and French oil major Total plan to sign an agreement to expand their joint venture refinery in Saudi Arabia, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on April 5.

Total declined to comment and Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The prince is not due to sign mega-contracts in France as he did in the United States and Britain in the past month. A French presidency statement said the two leaders would work on a strategic document that would lead to contracts by the year’s end, when Macron travels to Saudi Arabia.

French officials dismiss suggestions that the lack of lucrative accords reflects a weakening in the relationship. They say a new “method” of working together does not depend on eye-catching new business.

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