Oman's ORPIC in talks on $2.5bn financing

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State-owned Oman Oil Refineries and Petrochemical Companies (ORPIC) is in talks with two local banks to raise $2.5bn to expand its Sohar refinery and refinance a previous loan, a government official said on Monday.

"We are talking to National Bank of Oman and HSBC Oman to raise a $2.5bn loan to extend the Sohar refinery and refinance," a government official involved in the project said.

The banks declined to comment.

The official said $1.5bn of any loan agreed would be used to upgrade a crude oil processing unit at Sohar refinery to produce 180,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the current 116,000 bpd. The remaining $1bn would refinance an old loan taken out in 2007 for a previous expansion of the refinery.

Oman has another refinery in the capital Muscat that produces 106,000 bpd and plans to build another refinery at the central eastern town of Duqm.

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