DAMMAM, SAUDI ARABIA (May 7, 2005) - Saudi Aramco President & CEO Abdallah S. Jum’ah today addressed the inaugural session of the Saudi Mega Projects 2005 conference here, in the capital of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province. Jum’ah’s address outlined Saudi Aramco’s view of the changing dynamics in the global energy industry, and how the company’s strategic direction helps guide it through this robust business environment.

Jum’ah began by noting the strong and increasing demand for oil worldwide. In response, Saudi Aramco has continued aggressively expanding its crude oil production capacity with multiple mega projects.

"These projects are at various stages of planning, design and construction, with a total capacity about 2.2 million barrels per day," said Jum’ah. "These projects will lift Saudi Aramco’s maximum production capacity to close to 12 million barrels per day, thereby consolidating the company’s leading role in the oil industry." This development, Jum’ah noted, is consistent with the first dimension of Saudi Aramco’s strategic direction – its international role as a highly reliable provider of energy.

The second dimension of the company’s strategic direction – placing even stronger emphasis on growing the national economy – is illustrated by Saudi Aramco’s unprecedented growth in expanding its provision of natural gas as fuel and feedstock, as well as by its recent push in the area of refining and petrochemical projects.

"On the natural gas front, Saudi Aramco plans to construct another world scale gas processing plant in Khursaniyah for processing associated gas," Jum’ah said. The company will also expand some of the existing processing plants, construct more facilities for gas feedstock recovery and fractionation of gas feedstocks, expand the gas and product pipelines to the twin industrial cities of Jubail and Yanbu’, and supply fuel and feedstock to major gas-intensive petrochemical projects.

With regard to refining, Jum’ah said the company will expand its existing refineries to meet growing domestic demand and will integrate high-value petrochemical facilities with refineries. Saudi Aramco is also planning to establish grassroots refineries to meet growing domestic demand and export products to emerging markets worldwide.

In all of Saudi Aramco’s areas of mega-project development – oil, gas and refining/petrochemical – Jum’ah noted that significant, unprecedented investment opportunities will be available to private sector investors, as well as similarly unprecedented challenges. "This leads me now to address the third dimension of Saudi Aramco's strategic direction, that is, the commercial focus," said Jum’ah. "This dimension focuses on performing all operations on strictly economic, commercial and professional bases for the company to preserve its reliability, to be able to compete globally, and to achieve commercial efficiency."

Jum’ah concluded his address by noting that Saudi Aramco speakers over the next two days of the conference will be discussing company projects in greater detail.