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Saudi Aramco Seen Booking Three Tankers to Take Crude to U.S.

March 15 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s biggest state-owned crude producer, booked three supertankers to collect cargoes next month and ship them to the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to shipbroker reports.

The very large crude carriers will each load 280,000 metric tons of oil at the country’s Ras Tanura terminal between April 3 and April 9, according to e-mailed reports today from Athens-based Optima Shipbrokers Ltd. and Marex Spectron Group. The journey via South Afria’s Cape of Good Hope takes about 42 days, according to sea-distances.com.

Saudi Aramco, as the company is known, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc operate refineries through Motiva Enterprises LLC. The joint venture is bringing its Port Arthur, Texas plant back to full capacity after a series of unplanned shutdowns. The facility will be able to process as much as 600,000 barrels a day and is the nation’s biggest.

An e-mail to the media office address listed on Saudi Aramco’s website wasn’t immediately returned today.

Saudi Aramco booked at least four VLCCs to load in March and the same number in April last year, according to data from shipbroker reports. Charters are reported when they are at a provisional stage, meaning some deals get canceled.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Sheridan in London at rsheridan6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net

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