Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest crude exporter, plans this month to offer the first fuel to be exported from a joint-venture refinery with Total SA, two people with knowledge of the situation said.
The Saudi company may sell one or two cargoes of fuel oil from the venture known as Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co., or Satorp, located at the Persian Gulf port of Jubail, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is not public. A spokeswomen for Total in Paris and a spokesman for the state oil company known as Saudi Aramco in Dhahran didn’t immediately respond to e-mails requesting comment earlier today.
Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co., an Aramco division, will sell the fuel, the two people said. The cargoes will each comprise 80,000 metric tons, and the first of them could be ready for sale through direct negotiation, rather than by tender, late this month, one of the people said.
Satorp, 62.5 percent owned by Aramco with the rest held by Total, is processing the Arab Light blend of crude oil at a 120,000 barrel-a-day unit, the second person said. Another crude unit of the same size will start up next month, this person said. A coking facility, which will consume fuel oil to produce diesel and gasoline, is to start in November and will enable the refinery to process heavier oil grades, the person said.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are boosting domestic refining capacity to produce more fuels such as gasoline and diesel for local use and to profit from the higher prices processed fuels fetch in international markets compared with crude.