Saudi Arabia oil major to hike refining capacity

February 25th, 2008 - 11:31 pm ICT by admin  

Abu Dhabi, Feb 25 (IANS) Saudi Arabian oil major Aramco is to expand its refining capacity to 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) mainly to meet domestic demand for automobile fuel and other oil products. Stating this to the Emirates News Agency (WAM) here Monday, Aramco’s senior manufacturing and planning engineer Mahdi Fida Al Adel said the planned expansion of Ras Tanura refinery, the country’s largest, would push its refining capacity to 950,000 bpd.

“Any abundant refining output, if any, will be exported (to the global market),” Al Adel, who is here for the Middle East Refining Conference, said.

The expansion of Ras Tanura refinery is expected to be completed towards end 2013 or early 2014 and will meet domestic demand without affecting the oil market in the Middle East or other parts of the world.

The Aramco official said he did not have a clear number of the cost of total barrels of the said expansion.

“I don’t have numbers. I am a proponent of the refinery so I am not directly involved in looking at the commercial or technical issues…but I am assuming things are progressing,” he was quoted as saying.

Petrochemical expansion across that Gulf nation, however, is estimated at $22 billion, according to the WAM report.

Al Adel added that expansion work in other refineries in the country’s east and west are also underway.

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