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Dominican official seeks refinery in encounter with Saudi oil minister

Dominican official seeks refinery in encounter with Saudi oil minister

The Dominican Republic's foreign minister will travel to Saudi Arabia to lobby for a new oil refinery in the Caribbean country that faces fuel shortages, his office said Thursday.
Foreign Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso is scheduled to meet with Saudi oil minister Ali Naimi in February. A date has not been set, but the meeting would take place immediately after a Feb. 1 trip to Washington to discuss Haitian affairs with U.S. State Department officials, the ministry said.
Dominican officials have been pushing for a refinery in hopes of ending fuel shortages, lowering prices and becoming a transshipment point for oil to other Western Hemisphere ports, including the United States.
Fuel prices are high in the Dominican Republic, where regular gasoline sold for US$3.62 (euro2.79) per gallon on Thursday. Saudi Arabia holds over 260 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, a quarter of the world's total.
The Saudi trip is the latest in a series of Dominican attempts to boost relations with Middle Eastern countries.
President Leonel Fernandez hosted the Saudi ambassador to the United States for an official lunch at the national palace in November, and he was expected to travel to Qatar to discuss expanding an existing AES Corp. facility in the Dominican Republic to use as a transshipment point for liquefied natural gas, the ministry said.
The Qatar trip, which was postponed earlier this month, has not been rescheduled.


Updated : 2021-04-22 01:17 GMT+08:00