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Saudi Aramco and Dow Announce the Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding to Develop One of the Largest Grassroots Plastics and Chemicals Production Complexes in the World

The project will facilitate the development of downstream conversion industries in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - May 12, 2007

Saudi Aramco, a fully-integrated, global petroleum enterprise and the world's leading energy supplier, and The Dow Chemical Company, the world's leading science and technology company, providing innovative chemical, plastic and agricultural products and services to consumers around the globe, today announced the signing of a detailed Memorandum of Understanding regarding the construction, ownership and operation of a world-scale chemicals and plastics production complex in Saudi Arabia, named the Ras Tanura Integrated Project. The parties will now enter the final negotiation phase for the formation of a joint venture company to build, own and operate the facility to be located near Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province. The Ras Tanura petrochemical joint venture will be operationally integrated with Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura Refinery complex and its Ju'aymah gas processing plant, two of the largest facilities of their kind in the world. The latter two facilities will supply feedstock to the joint venture and continue to be owned and operated by Saudi Aramco.

The proposed JV partnership will bring together the world's largest oil company with the world's leading chemicals and plastics producer and marketer. The Ras Tanura integrated complex will produce an extensive and diversified slate of plastics and chemicals and introduce new value chains and performance products to the Kingdom. When fully operational, the new complex will be one of the largest grassroots plastics and chemicals production facilities in the world and will be ideally positioned to serve major world markets.

"This project will leverage our largest refining asset and enhance its profitability by capitalizing on the value addition opportunities and synergies existing between refining and petrochemicals," said Saudi Aramco President & CEO Abdallah S. Jum'ah. "The wide range of chemical materials and plastics to be produced by the joint venture will help spawn other downstream chemical conversion industries, thus strengthening the role of the chemical sector as a key enabler of many other future investments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Jum'ah added. "The downstream industries to be fed by the materials to be manufactured by the joint venture will assist in further expanding the national economic base while promoting economic diversification and capitalizing on the vast job creation potential of these industries."

"We are extremely pleased to be selected by Saudi Aramco as their joint venture partner to help build the Ras Tanura petrochemical complex. This joint venture will further strengthen Dow's presence in the Middle East and add to our already vast capabilities worldwide," said Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris. "Furthermore, the complex will have a long-term, secure and reliable feedstock position with integration to the adjacent refinery and gas processing plant, while positioning the new enterprise to grow its product sales."

The Ras Tanura petrochemical complex will produce a broad range of both basic and performance products, including ethylene, propylene, aromatic and chlorine derivatives. Initially, the project scope includes world-scale production units for polyethylene, ethylene oxide and glycol, propylene oxide and glycol, chlor-alkali, vinyl chloride monomer, polyurethane components, epoxy resins, polycarbonate, amines and glycol ethers.

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About Saudi Aramco

Saudi Aramco is a fully-integrated, global petroleum enterprise, and a world leader in oil and gas exploration and production, refining, distribution, shipping and marketing. The company manages proven reserves of over 260 billion barrels of oil, the largest of any company in the world, and manages the fourth-largest gas reserves in the world. Saudi Aramco operates one of the world's largest integrated gas gathering, processing and industrial distribution systems. These strengths, combined with the massive resource base of oil and gas, have allowed the company to fuel and feed the Kingdom's burgeoning petrochemical business over the past three decades. Saudi Aramco, which is also among the top ten refiners in the world, also owns and operates one of the world's largest tanker fleets to help transport its crude oil production, which amounted to over 3.2 billion barrels in 2006. In addition to its headquarters in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province city of Dhahran, Saudi Aramco has affiliates, joint ventures and subsidiaries spanning the globe, with presence in the United States, Europe and Asia. More information about Saudi Aramco can be found at