US official and (right) Saudi Aramco president and CEO Amin H Nasser signing the MoU

US official and (right) Saudi Aramco president and CEO Amin H Nasser signing the MoU

Saudi Aramco signs up petchem deals

The state oil giant recently signed contracts to build integrated refining and petrochemical plants in its eastern industrial city of Jubail and also in western India

May 2018

Saudi Aramco has signed an agreement with Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (RRPCL), a consortium of Indian oil companies, to jointly develop and build a mega refinery and petrochemicals complex in the Indian city of Ratnagiri.

The Indian consortium includes The Indian Oil Corporation (IOCl), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL). 

Saudi Aramco may also seek to include a strategic partner to co-invest in the mega refinery, a statement said.

The strategic partnership brings together crude supply, resources, technologies, experience, and expertise of these multiple oil companies with an established commercial presence around the world.

A pre-feasibility study for the refinery has been completed and the parties are now finalising the project’s overall configuration. Following the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU), the parties will extend their collaboration to discuss the formation of a joint venture that would provide for joint ownership, control, and management of the project.

The refinery will be capable of processing 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day. It will produce a range of refined petroleum products, including gasoline and diesel, meeting BS-VI fuel efficiency norms. The refinery will also provide feedstock for the integrated petrochemical complex, which will be capable of producing approximately 18 million tonnes per annum of petrochemical products.

In addition to the refinery, cracker and downstream petrochemical facilities, the project will include associated facilities such as a logistics, crude oil and product storage terminals, raw water supply, as well as centralised and shared utilities.

RRPCL will rank among the largest world refining and petrochemicals projects and will be designed to meet India’s fast-growing fuels and petrochemicals demand. The project cost is estimated at around $44 billion.

“Investing in India is a key part of our company’s global downstream strategy, and another milestone in our growing relationship with India,” said Saudi Aramco president and CEO Amin H Nasser, who also noted the opening in 2017 of Aramco Asia’s New Delhi office with a mandate to expand Saudi Aramco’s international portfolio in this key economic growth region.

“The signing marks a significant development in India’s oil and gas sector, enabling a strategic joint venture and investment partnership that will serve India’s fast-growing demand for transportation fuels and chemical products. Participating in this mega project will allow Saudi Aramco to go beyond our crude oil supplier role to a fully integrated position that may help usher in other areas of collaboration, such as refining, marketing, and petrochemicals for India’s future energy demands,” said Nasser.



Earlier, Saudi Aramco signed an agreement with French energy major Total to build a giant petrochemical complex at Jubail, Saudi Arabia, at a total investment of $9 billion. Located next to the Satorp refinery in the same industrial area, the complex will comprise a world-size mixed-feed steam cracker (50 per cent ethane and refinery off-gas) with a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per year (mtpy) of ethylene and related petrochemical units.

Aramco said the duo is planning to start the front-end engineering and design (Feed) in the third quarter of 2018. The Saudi company said the project will represent an investment of around $5 billion. The cracker will feed other petrochemical and specialty chemical plants representing an overall amount of $4 billion investment by third-party investors.

In total, $9 billion will be invested, creating 8,000 local direct and indirect jobs. The project will produce more than 2.7 mtpy of high value chemicals.



Motiva Enterprises, a wholly-owned downstream oil and gas subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, has signed technology agreements worth between $8 billion to $10 billion with US companies Honeywell UOP and TechnipFMC.

One of the MoUs signed paves the way to evaluate the use of TechnipFMC’s world scale mixed-feed ethylene production technologies in the US. The second MoU enables Motiva to examine the use of UOP’s world-scale aromatics extraction and production technologies for benzene and paraxylene for development of a potential complex along the US Gulf Coast. The MOUs are a first step in Motiva’s expansion into petrochemicals.

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