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Aramco Trading Aims to Triple Volume to 1.5 Million Barrels

May 7 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabian Oil Co.’s trading arm aims to triple the volume of refined crude products it buys and sells to 1.5 million barrels a day “in the near future” to meet the country’s growing demand, the unit’s head said.

The unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co., has bought and sold an average of about 500,000 to 600,000 barrels a day of energy products since it started operations at the beginning of the year, Said Al-Hadrami, its chief executive officer, said at a conference in Bahrain today.

Aramco Trading, as the company is known, has agreements to buy refined products from its parent company at spot prices and began operating as a separate unit to market products from the state oil company’s domestic and international joint venture refineries, he said. The company won’t deal in crude oil, Al-Hadrami said at the Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference.

Middle Eastern crude producers often import products such as gasoline and diesel because they lack adequate refining capacity to meet domestic demand. Aramco Trading is tasked with buying products like gasoline and diesel fuel to meet domestic demand in the Persian Gulf state, Al-Hadrami said.

Vitol Group, an independent trader, deals in about 6 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, CEO Ian Taylor said at the same conference. Vitol is expanding to have a physical asset base, including refineries, oil and gas production and storage, to offset low trading margins, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony DiPaola in Bahrain at adipaola@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on sev@bloomberg.net.

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