Saudi Arabian Oil Co.’s trading unit will lease storage space for refined fuel at the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah from tank-farm operator Vopak Horizon Fujairah Ltd., the state-owned crude producer said.
Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. will use the storage to boost trading, according to the statement sent by e-mail today. Known as Aramco Trading, the unit buys refined products such as gasoline and diesel to meet domestic demand in the Persian Gulf state, while Saudi Aramco continues to market crude oil directly to customers mainly under long-term contracts.
Middle Eastern crude producers often import oil products because they lack adequate refining capacity to meet domestic demand. Aramco Trading was seeking to triple the volume of products it buys and sells to 1.5 million barrels a day from the 500,000 barrels of refined products it was handling since it started last year, the unit’s head said Said Al-Hadrami said in May 2012.
Fujairah, one of seven U.A.E. emirates, lies outside the Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, a shipping chokepoint. Royal Vopak NV and partners including the government of Fujairah and Dubai-based refiner Emirates National Oil Co. operate the 2.1 million-ton Vopak Horizon storage facility.