Sale of Saudi eye oil to the world’s largest plants emerging in China


The state of Saudi Arabia as the largest oil supplier in China has been usurped by Russia. The largest producer of OPEC is trying to regain ground in the world's largest importer of crude.

State-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Aramco, is in supply talks with petrochemical conglomerates that are building some of the [19659003] plants in China, said Mushabab Al-Qahtani, vice president of the marketing department at his unit of Asia, without identifying the companies. It also sees the country expand imports of sulphurous acid crude, the type typically pumped by the Middle East nation.

Companies that currently forge facilities include Rongsheng Petrochemical Co., which is building a $ 24 billion refinery in Zhejiang Province, and Hengli Group that is planning a plant in the Liaoning region. As Saudi Arabia led the OPEC production cuts this year to reduce the global surplus, it lost market share in the world's largest energy consumer. Russia in September retained the first position of Chinese supplier for the seventh consecutive month, while the kingdom was the third.

"China is one of our oldest and largest customers," said Al-Qahtani at the International Oil and Gas Office of China. Trade Congress in Shanghai on Thursday. "In recent years, growth in China has slowed as incremental demand has preferred low-sulfur crude and that Aramco is implementing OPEC cuts, but Aramco still has ambitious plans for China."

The 2.2 million barrels per day of refining capacity that China plans to add by 2022 are designed to operate mainly acidic crude, and Saudi Arabia is ready to meet that demand, according to Al Qahtani. "In fact, China will need much more crude sulfur in the future."

About 60 percent of China's oil imports in 2017 were badly sour, of which 23 percent came from Saudi Arabia, he said. Aramco, which is seeking a partnership with China National Petroleum Corp. to buy a stake in the Anning refinery of 260,000 barrels per day in Yunnan province, hopes to make an investment decision on the project early next year. Qahtani said in an interview.

The company is also taking steps to make a final investment decision on the construction of an integrated refining and petrochemical facility with China North Industries Group in Liaoning, he said. Saudi Aramco has followed a refining investment strategy to help secure the demand for its oil, and previously it has also signed agreements for projects in Malaysia and Indonesia.

– With the badistance of Sarah Chen and Jing Yang

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