Saudi Aramco on Sunday confirmed reports that it is to acquire the 50% it does not already own in the Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery (Sasref) oil refinery joint venture (JV) with Shell for $631 million. The sale is expected to be completed later this year, subject to regulatory approvals.
“Saudi Aramco will take full ownership and integrate the refinery into its growing downstream portfolio,” said Abdulaziz al-Judaimi, Aramco’s senior vice president/downstream. Sasref will continue to be a critical facility in Aramco’s refining and chemicals business and the company plans to optimize its performance, he said. The Jubail, Saudi Arabia–based refinery has a capacity of 305,000 b/d. Its main products are liquefied petroleum gas, naphtha, kerosene, diesel, fuel oil, and sulfur.
For Shell, the sale is the second major exit from Saudi Arabia. Two years ago, Sabic, which itself is being acquired by Aramco, bought Shell out of Saudi Petrochemical Co. (Sadaf) for $820 million, terminating a long-term agreement with Shell that was due to expire in 2020. Sabic plans to fold Sadaf into its Arabian Petrochemical Co. (Petrokemya) subsidiary in the second half of this year with Petrokemya as the surviving entity.
For Aramco, the Sasref deal is another push downstream. The company bought Lanxess out of their Arlanxeo (Maastricht, Netherlands) synthetic rubber JV last year and it also bought Shell out of Motiva Enterprises in Texas. Aramco is, at the same time, acquiring more downstream assets around the world to beef up its portfolio.
By Natasha Alperowicz
Source: Chemical Week
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