King Salman’s three-week Asian tour which ended 18 March saw him take in Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and China and has laid the foundation for a Saudi downstream expansion into Asia linked to increased supplies of crude oil. It is also helping pave the way for Aramco’s planned doubling of global gross refining capacity to 10-12mn b/d, which is contingent on sizeable overseas contributions (MEES, 10 March).

At the end of the visit to China, Riyadh and Beijing issued a joint statement expressing their desire to further boost cooperation in the field of energy, including supplies of Saudi oil for the growing Chinese market. (CONTINUED - 924 WORDS)