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Saudi Aramco Acquires Largest Oil Refinery in North America

Saudi Aramco Acquires Largest Oil Refinery in North America

Thursday, 19 January, 2023 - 09:00
Saudi Aramco’s global trading arm has bought US firm Motiva Trading. SPA

Saudi Aramco’s global trading arm has bought US firm Motiva Trading as it seeks to expand its footprint across North and South America.

As well as acquiring 100 percent of the firm, Aramco Trading Co. has also launched a Texas-based subsidiary – Aramco Trading Americas.

The new entity will be the sole supplier and ‘offtaker'of Motiva Enterprises, the owner of North America’s largest oil refinery with a crude capacity of 630,000 barrels a day of consumer and commercial grade fuels and base oils.

According to Aramco, ATA will be ATC’s regional office, expanding its trading business in North and South America to capture new opportunities and increase its existing customer base.

By allowing customers access to a sturdy hydrocarbon system, this is projected to bring about strength in the global value chain in the future, according to the statement.

“The acquisition of Motiva Trading and the establishment of Aramco Trading Americas are a giant step towards executing our ambitious global growth strategy, which aims to expand our geographical reach and scale of operations, while further strengthening our product flexibility and optionality,” said President and CEO of ATC Mohammed Al-Mulhim.

In another context, the Saudi oil producer has been involved in advanced discussions to take a stake of up to 20 percent in a previously announced Geely-Renault powertrain technology company that the automakers are working to establish, according to Reuters.

According to a document prepared by the companies and viewed by Reuters, the aim is to establish a powertrain company this year with a production capacity of more than 5 million "low-emission and hybrid engines and transmissions" annually.

The new joint venture - codenamed "Horse" - is aimed at developing more efficient gasoline engines and hybrid systems at a time when the focus of much of the automobile industry has been on the capital-intensive transition to purely electric vehicles.

Aramco would also contribute to research and development of powertrain technologies, especially synthetic fuel solutions and next-generation hydrogen technologies, the document said.

Last year, Aramco, Hyundai Motor Group, and KAUST announced they would collaborate to research and potentially develop an advanced fuel formulation for use in combination with a novel combustion system.

In another context, Aramco remains the most valuable brand in MENA in 2023, according to the latest report released by Brand Finance.

“We are very optimistic in terms of demand coming back to the market,” Saudi Aramco’s chief executive officer, Amin Nasser, said in an interview. “We are starting to see good signs coming out of China. Hopefully, in the next couple of months, we’ll see more of a pickup in the economy there.”

The world needs 4 million to 6 million barrels a day of new production just to make up for the natural decline in existing fields, according to the CEO.

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