Saudi Aramco laid down a marker in its quest for Chinese crude oil market share this week with two deals enabling the supply of up to 690,000 b/d. With the volumes destined for integrated refining/petrochemical facilities, the deals will go a long way towards helping Aramco achieve its stated goal of quadrupling liquids-to-chemicals volumes to 4mn b/d by 2030.

The first agreement consisted of re-affirming, albeit with slight modification, a 2019 agreement to develop a 300,000 b/d refinery with an integrated 1.65mn t/y cracker at Panjin in China’s northeastern Liaoning province. But the second deal was far more eye-catching – an agreement to take a 10% stake in Chinese independent firm Rongsheng Petrochemical which has emerged in recent years as a major buyer of Middle East crude. (CONTINUED - 1570 WORDS)