Amid the gloom of last weekend’s Abqaiq attack (MEES, 20 September), Saudi Aramco completed its purchase of Shell’s 50% stake in the 305,000 b/d Sasref refinery. Aramco paid $631mn for the Jubail facility, which it now fully owns. In a joint statement, Aramco said “the acquisition supports Saudi Aramco’s plan to increase the complexity and capacity of its refineries, as part of its long-term downstream growth strategy.” The deal was only announced in April and has reached completion some five months later (MEES, 26 April).

Aramco is also finalizing the purchase of a 70% stake in state-petchems giant Sabic. Consultancy WoodMac’s principal analyst John Stewart says “there are clear synergies with Sabic’s manufacturing affiliate, Petrokemya, which operates a mixed feed ethylene cracker also located within Jubail Industrial City. The cracker takes light naphtha from Sasref refinery alongside supplementary propane and butane volumes.” (CONTINUED - 143 WORDS)