Saudi Aramco could begin selling more oil to its European customers via a pipeline that runs through Egypt, according to an official statement from the state-run giant.
As a result, the Sidi Kerir pipeline terminal could become a key industry hub, Ibrahim Al-Buainain, CEO of Aramco’s trading wing, said on Monday following a meeting with Egyptian oil minister Tarek al-Molla.
The SUMED pipeline in question is run by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), which owns 50 percent of the facility’s assets. The rest is owned by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt have broken all diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar, accusing it of financing regional terrorism and of having close ties to the Arab states’ bitter rival, Iran. The Arab coalition demands that Doha cut its ties with Iran, end its financial support for Islamic extremist groups, and shut down the Qatar-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera. It is unclear if tensions between Qatar and its fellow Arab states will affect Aramco’s new plans to run oil through Egypt.
“We want clarity in the Qatari position, we want seriousness in finding a solution…[and] implementation of principles all countries support: No supporting terrorism, no welcoming unwanted guests, no spreading hate, no intervention in others’ affairs,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir explained this week. “Qatar knows what it has to do in order to end the crisis.”
U.S. President Donald Trump met with the Kuwaiti emir on September 7th and praised his mediation efforts. He said the United States would be willing to act as a mediator in the gulf dispute as well.
Saudi Arabia also recently said it was breaking off any talks with Qatar, accusing the country of misreporting the content of a phone call between Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad and Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.