The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and ConocoPhillips have agreed to halt the bidding process associated with the construction of the planned 400,000 barrel-per-day export refinery at the Yanbu Industrial City, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, citing uncertainties in the financial and contracting markets. The current bidding process requested bids to be submitted during December 2008. Instead, it is planned that the project will be re-bid in the second quarter of 2009.

“ConocoPhillips remains committed to working with Saudi Aramco to complete the Yanbu Export Refinery Project,” said Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer, ConocoPhillips. “We believe that this short delay will allow the markets to adjust from the current uncertainties and provide a stronger basis for the long-term success of the refinery.”

“Although the original schedule for the Yanbu Export Refinery Project will change, Saudi Aramco remains strongly committed to completing this important project with ConocoPhillips,” said Abdallah S. Jum’ah, Saudi Aramco president and chief executive officer. “We believe that a delay at this time will allow both the contracting and financial markets to better accommodate the project and will prove to be advantageous for the project company.”

The companies will maintain joint engineering, start-up planning and other preparatory activities to ensure project continuity while accommodating the delay.

(OilVoice)