Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Saudi Aramco takes next step in petrochemicals expansion at United States top refinery

Aramco eyes new petchem plant in Texas Saudi Aramco takes next step in petrochemicals expansion at United States top refinery
Russell Knight | 11 April, 2018, 00:55

Proceeds from the share sale should be used to expand the company's footprint in refining and petrochemicals, rather than in oil exploration and production, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said in a March 26 Bloomberg television interview in NY.

Saudi Arabia's national oil company Saudi Aramco is expected to disclose initial steps toward a multibillion-dollar chemical plant in Texas, according to sources familiar with the company's US operations.

The Reliance Industries refinery in Jhimnigar, India, has the largest capacity in the world at 1.2 million barrels per day.

Saudi prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud attended the signing ceremony, which is at the end of his two-week visit to the US, Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih and his American counterpart Rick Perry.

The technology would produce 2-million tonnes a year of ethylene, which is used to make plastics, Motiva said.

The companies are planning to start the front-end engineering and design (FEED) in the third quarter.

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In a key address at the forum, Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin H. Nasser said that the company has a massive and highly ambitious investment program for the next decade as part of its ambition for expansion.

Aramco, which wants to develop its downstream business as the government prepares to sell up to 5% of the world's largest oil firm in an initial public offering in 2018, wants to use oil as a major petrochemicals feedstock.

Saudi Aramco a year ago said it would invest $18 billion in Motiva's Port Arthur refinery, which can process up to 603,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd).

The deal with Total involves the construction of a petrochemical complex at their Jubail Satorp refinery, a joint venture in which Saudi Aramco holds a 62.5 percent stake, while Total holds the other 37.5 percent. "Our joint venture Satorp is a remarkably successful model of industry partnership and we are keen to build on this success to further underpin Saudi Aramco's strategy to expand its capacity in the chemicals sector by 2030". The project will create some 8,000 jobs.

The cracker will feed other petrochemical and specialty chemical plants representing an overall amount of $4 billion investment by third party investors, it said, taking the total investment to $9 billion.

Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil company, signed two separate agreements with oil-equipment makers TechnipFMC, which has headquarters in Houston, Paris and London, and Honeywell UOP to study their production technologies and potentially build a manufacturing complex on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

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