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Saudi energy company courts Turkish players

Saudi Aramco says the agreements are part of a broader based economic agenda dubbed Saudi Vision 2030.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Saudi energy company courts Turkish players
Saudi Arabia aims to strengthen ties with Turkish companies through agreements reached at an energy conference in Istanbul. File photo by ben bryant/Shutterstock

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia's energy company said it reached a series of agreements in the Turkish energy market that could double the amount of energy-related goods produced.

Delegates from Saudi Arabian Oil Co. met on the sidelines of an energy conference in Istanbul to sign a series of memoranda of understanding with more than a dozen Turkish companies. The Saudi company, known also as Saudi Aramco, said the agreements would strengthen the potential for Turkey's energy future and fit in with a national strategy formulated in Riyadh dubbed Saudi Vision 2030.

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"We will double the percentage of locally-produced energy-related goods and services to 70 percent by 2021," Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said in a statement. "This is a great opportunity for Turkish companies, particularly to bring their expertise and invest in the kingdom's future."

Turkey's geographic position as a bridge between the East and the West makes it attractive to energy investors keen on tapping into diverse energy markets. Diversity schemes for both Russia and European sectors run through Turkey.

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"The MoUs will help further the development of business opportunities between the two countries and we look forward to working with Turkish firms on future projects," Nasser said.

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Russia recently revived natural gas pipeline plans through Turkey and the latest Saudi move serves as a sign of the geopolitical importance of counting Turkey as an energy partner. Both Riyadh and Moscow have offered fluid support for an agreement reached last month in Algeria by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to work toward an agreement to hold oil production stable to put a floor under crude oil prices.

The 2030 economic agenda aims to boost Saudi Arabia's non-oil revenue and relies in part on raising money through the public listing of shares in Saudi Aramco. Billed as the largest-ever IPO, the offering would likely value the company at $2 trillion.

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ING Bank in June warned the IPO could erode OPEC's influence because Saudi Aramco would have to work in the interest of its shareholders rather than the collective will of member states.

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