The first of Saudi Arabia’s three planned 400,000 b/d refineries set to enter service over the next five years will not greatly affect the Kingdom’s need to import road fuels, MEES learns. The Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Company (Satorp) Jubail plant, a JV grouping Aramco and Total, will boost Saudi Arabia’s total refining capacity by about 20% to 2.5mn b/d by the end of 2013.

However, the refinery is located on the Gulf coast (Eastern Province), where there is already a gasoline and diesel surplus, rather than on the Red Sea, where there is a shortage. This means the bulk of its road fuel output will be exported. Saudi Aramco’s existing 550,000 b/d refinery at Ras Tanura as well as its 310,000 b/d joint venture with Shell at Jubail already serve the Eastern Province and central Saudi demand centers in addition to providing export volumes. (CONTINUED - 405 WORDS)