Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s largest petrochemicals producer, is developing a method to convert crude oil into petrochemicals without passing it through a refinery, a Saudi oil ministry adviser said.
The state-controlled company known as Sabic is working on the plan with the ministry, Prince Faisal bin Turki said at a conference in Dubai today.
The Saudi petrochemicals industry is in a “golden era,” with output at record levels, he said. Production in 2016 will be 100 million metric tons, a 250 percent increase from 2006, he said. Saudi Arabia is developing 120 chemical and petrochemical projects to make products for export and create jobs, and is developing specialty chemicals for industries such as automotive, he said.
Sabic is expanding to meet rising demand for petrochemical products from fast-growing Asian economies including China and India. Saudi Arabia exported 20.3 million tons of petrochemicals during the eight months ending in August, up from 19.4 million tons a year earlier, the Saudi Ports Authority said on Oct. 18.