Saudi Arabia has invested heavily in its downstream sector in recent years as it seeks to diversify its economy away from a dependency on crude oil sales. As diversification goes, it hardly counts as ending the kingdom’s “addiction to oil” (MEES, 29 April 2016), but the kingdom is starting to reap the benefits of its investment as records tumbled in 2016.

With more capacity under construction, last year’s records are set to fall again in the near future. While the international focus has been on Saudi Arabia’s crude production, especially in the wake of the 30 November pledge to trim output in line with other Opec producers, the kingdom’s downstream sector had a year to remember. Along with providing additional revenue streams, Saudi Arabia is increasingly looking to refineries to broaden its market influence. (CONTINUED - 923 WORDS)