Saudi Aramco’s headquarters in Dhahran

Saudi Aramco’s headquarters in Dhahran

Crude oil to chemicals studies to begin

01 August 2016

A long-considered  plan to commercially convert crude oil into chemicals is making headway with the two main parties Saudi Aramco and Sabic signing an agreement to conduct a joint feasibility study.

Derived from improved refining technology, the crude oil-to-chemicals process will involve innovative configurations with proven conversion technologies. This will create a fully integrated petrochemical complex which maximises chemical yield, transforms and recycles by-products, drives efficiencies of scale and resource optimisation and diversifies the petrochemical feedstock mix in the kingdom, a joint statement said.

Saudi Aramco president and CEO Amin H Nasser said: “Our agreement with Sabic reflects our vision to build on Saudi Arabia’s global leadership in crude oil production and commodities export by substantially increasing the production of oil-based petrochemicals and further optimising value across the entire hydrocarbons chain. This agreement will help spur a new era of industrial diversification, job creation and technology development in Saudi Arabia, particularly through downstream conversion of specialty chemicals by small and medium-sized enterprises.”

Sabic’s headquarters in Riyadh

Sabic’s headquarters in Riyadh

Sabic vice chairman and CEO, Yousef Abdullah Al Benyan, said Sabic and Saudi Aramco could, by working together, drive advances that will diversify the kingdom’s feedstock mix and make oil a viable petrochemical feedstock. 

“We are hopeful that our agreement to conduct a joint feasibility study on the development of an integrated crude oil-to-chemicals complex in Saudi Arabia will ultimately lead to a new era for the kingdom, driving strong economic growth, creating many new opportunities for aspiring young Saudis, and playing a significant role in the kingdom’s economic transformation,” he said. 

Consistent with the  Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 goals, this project will provide new opportunities toward creating a  world leading downstream sector in Saudi Arabia built on four key drivers: maximising value from the kingdom’s crude oil production via vertical and horizontal integration across the hydrocarbon chain; enabling the creation of conversion industries that produce semi-finished and finished goods to help diversify the economy; developing advanced technologies and innovation; and enabling the kingdom’s sustainable development in alignment with the its National Transformation Programme, the statement said.


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