Saudi state petroleum firm Aramco is among 20 companies studying data on eight Brazilian refineries totaling 1.1mn b/d up for privatization. The companies have signed non-disclosure agreements granting them access to data available from state petroleum firm Petrobras, according to two unnamed sources quoted by Reuters. A first round of non-binding offers for four of the plants is due 11 October. Among the companies reportedly studying the data are Shell, Chinese state firms PetroChina and Sinopec, and international traders Vitol, Glencore and Trafigura.

Aramco operates 2.87mn b/d of gross refining capacity (1.95mn b/d net) in Saudi Arabia and 2.68mn b/d gross (1.31mn b/d) net abroad, in Asia and the US. Aramco’s downstream expansion strategy is targeting countries with high demand growth and reliance on crude oil imports such as China (MEES, 30 August). (CONTINUED - 184 WORDS)