Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 25 August 2019

Aramco buys 50% stake in Sasref refinery for $631m

The state producer will buy Shell's stake in the refining joint venture after investing in South Korea's Oilbank last week as part of its pivot downstream

Aramco's refinery in the Jubail industrial city has a capacity of 305,000 barrels per day. Reuters
Aramco's refinery in the Jubail industrial city has a capacity of 305,000 barrels per day. Reuters

Aramco agreed to buy Anglo-Dutch major Shell’s 50 per cent stake in a refining joint venture in Jubail for $631 million, taking complete ownership of the facility.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil exporting company has been making strategic shifts downstream, as it looks to sell more products, especially in the growing markets of Asia.

The company has looked to strengthen its downstream portfolio – which refers to the refining and chemicals segments of the energy value chain – and recently agreed to buy 70 per cent stake in Sabic, the region’s biggest chemicals company.

"The partnership with Shell has led to a strong record of performance and delivery of refined products," Abdulaziz Al Judaimi, Saudi Aramco’s senior vice president of downstream said in a statement on Sunday. "Saudi Aramco will take full ownership and integrate the refinery into its growing downstream portfolio.”

The Aramco-Shell transaction is expected to be completed later this year, pending regulatory approval. The Sasref refinery at Jubail has a capacity of 305,000 barrels per day, with liquefied petroleum gas, naphtha, kerosene, diesel, fuel oil and sulphur being its main products.

Last week, Saudi Aramco reached an agreement with with Hyundai to acquire a 17 per cent stake in Oilbank, one of the South Korean company’s subsidiaries, in a transaction valued at $1.25 billion.

The Saudi state producer will invest through the Aramco Overseas Company. The investment will support Aramco’s crude placement strategy by allowing for a dedicated outlet for Arabian crude in South Korea, one of the biggest buyers of Middle Eastern crude.

Updated: April 21, 2019 03:49 PM