NEW DELHI, INDIA (January 16, 2005) - Saudi Aramco's President and Chief Executive Officer, Abdallah S. Jum'ah, called today for closer cooperation between his company – the world's largest oil producer – and India's petroleum and industrial sectors.

In a speech before the Petrotech 2005 conference in New Delhi, Mr. Jum'ah said that Saudi Aramco would continue to work with its Indian counterparts "to identify commercial opportunities in the downstream sector that make sense for the two companies involved, as well as the Indian consumer."

Mr. Jum'ah confirmed that Saudi Aramco was continuing to explore "the possibility of establishing a joint partnership in India's refining and marketing sector."

He added: "Besides strengthening oil supply relationships and commercially benefiting both parties to the agreement, such joint ventures will also assist us in establishing closer ties with the Indian end-users of our petroleum—relations we value highly, and which we will strive to strengthen in the future."

Citing the importance of energy to industrial growth, Mr. Jum'ah said Saudi Aramco would continue to be a reliable supplier of petroleum to India and would help sustain its "prodigious economic growth."

India currently imports more than 450,000 barrels per day of Saudi Aramco crude oil – roughly a quarter of India's total oil imports, which themselves account for some 70 percent of the nation's total crude oil demand. India's requirements for oil are expected to double by 2030, Mr. Jum'ah noted, citing International Energy Agency projections.

"Energy, therefore, represents both an opportunity and a challenge for this great nation," said Mr. Jum'ah. "Saudi Aramco stands ready and willing to provide that energy."

Mr. Jum'ah is heading a Saudi Aramco business delegation to the Petrotech 2005 conference that includes Khalid A. Al-Falih, senior vice president of Gas Operations; Adil A. Al-Tubayyeb, executive director of Joint Venture Development and Coordination; Dawood M. Al-Dawood, manager of Crude Oil Sales and Marketing; and Ali M. Bakhsh, regional vice president of Saudi Petroleum Ltd., Singapore.

The Saudi Aramco President and CEO is holding meetings with business and petroleum industry executives, including leaders of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum and Reliant Energy.

Mr. Jum'ah is also meeting with officials from the Confederation of Indian Industry to discuss areas of cooperation and business opportunities.

Mr. Al-Falih conducted a side visit to Reliant Energy's refinery and petroleum center, and toured that company's exploration and production technology center in Mumbai.

Mr. Jum 'ah and his delegation were also scheduled to visit the research and development center of Indian Oil Corporation.

On Sunday, Mr. Jum'ah inaugurated a photo exhibit at Petrotech 2005, consisting of industrial and cultural photographs.