A $14 billion refinery being built in the east of Saudi Arabia by a joint venture between Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and France's Total S.A. (TOT) is expected to start operations as planned next year, the company's top executive said.
"The project is progressing as planned and the start up will be in 2013," Fawwaz Nawwab, president and chief executive at Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co., known as Satorp, said in an email to Dow Jones Newswires.
Satorp has previously said the refinery operations will be steady by mid-fourth quarter 2013, while Saudi Aramco's 2011 annual review said the inaugural crude oil intake is scheduled for December 2012, and the refinery will be fully operational by the third quarter of next year.
An industry source said that the 400,000 barrel-a-day export refinery in Jubail is in the pre-commissioning stage and there is a possibility it may be fully operational before the third quarter of next year.
Mr. Nawwab didn't give further details on the start-up date of the project.
Satorp, which is part of a drive by the world's top oil exporter to boost refining capacity, plans to float a 25% stake in the company around 2014.
Write to Summer Said at Summer.Said@dowjones.com
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