Global downstream

Our partnerships in refining and marketing ventures in China, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, and the United States enable us to traverse the length of the value chain from wellhead to consumer, adding value to our resources at every step. 

FREP is our joint venture with ExxonMobil, China Petroleum and Petrochemical Company Limited (Sinopec) and the Fujian provincial government. It is a key element in our Asia chemicals strategy and is long recognized for its outstanding environmental performance by the local community and government. Over the past decade we have tripled the facility’s crude oil production capacity, increased the capacity of its ethylene cracker, and added a new ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol unit.


In China, our crude oil exports account for nearly 10% of the country’s demand. Our portfolio of downstream assets in China is designed to benefit energy and feedstock consumers and maximize returns on the Kingdom’s hydrocarbon resources.

We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China North Industries Group Corp. (Norinco) to participate in its planned refinery expansion and a 300,000 bpd greenfield refinery in Panjin in Liaoning Province.

In Malaysia, we executed Share Purchase Agreements with Petronas to participate in a grassroots full conversion refinery and integrated chemical cracker to be located in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The project, known as RAPID (Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development), includes a 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery, 3 million tons per annum of olefins capacity, and downstream chemicals manufacturing units. Situated adjacent to Singapore, the refined trading products hub for Asia, the venture is planned to increase placement of our crude oil in the region, and add to our refining and chemicals manufacturing, and marketing capacity in strategic markets.

In Indonesia, following the joint venture development agreement signed with Pertamina in 2016, we completed basic engineering for the upgrade and expansion of the Cilacap Refinery in Central Java.

In New Delhi, India, our Aramco Asia-India affiliate office will strengthen our presence in the country and potentially enable broader opportunities between Saudi Aramco and leading Indian entities.

In South Korea, we hold a majority equity interest in S-Oil, one of the country’s leading refiners. Two projects are underway to enhance its refinery’s competitiveness, create a more diversified portfolio, and improve profitability. The first project involves upgrading low-value residue to high-value olefin and gasoline products. The second project involves new facilities to produce polypropylene and propylene oxide, and recover ethylene. 

United States 

The dissolution of the 18-year-long Motiva joint venture was finalized during the first half of the year. Saudi Aramco retained the Motiva name and assumed sole ownership of North America’s largest single-site crude oil refinery, located in Port Arthur, Texas. In addition, Saudi Aramco retained 24 terminals and an exclusive license to sell fuel under the Shell brand in Texas and much of the U.S. Midwest and Southeast.


In the Netherlands, ARLANXEO is our specialty chemicals joint venture with German specialty chemicals company LANXESS that produces, markets, and distributes synthetic rubber and elastomers. In 2017, we began design of a project to utilize crude C4 from Sadara to produce butadiene and related coproducts such as MTBE and high purity isobutylene as feedstock for ARLANXEO for a planned elastomers plant to be located in Saudi Arabia.

Growing sales and marketing

In our drive to grow our base oils business, in 2017 we marked a number of milestones, including establishing a global interchangeable slate of Saudi Aramco branded base oils among our LUBEREF, S-Oil, and Motiva affiliates, and launching the brand at three major base oil and lubricants conferences. We also commenced domestic sales of aramcoDURA® and aramcoPRIMA® base oils. With the completion of the LUBEREF expansion project in Yanbu’, we are aiming to become a leading supplier of global base oils, with gross production capacity of 4.7 million tons per year.

Saudi Aramco Products Trading Company (ATC) is our wholly owned subsidiary based in Dhahran, with a branch in Singapore. ATC is Saudi Aramco’s trading arm and conducts trading activities in refined products, liquid chemicals, and polymers. ATC is also involved in chartering activities to deliver products to clients, and is the largest charterer of refined products in the Middle East region. In 2017, ATC continued to expand its market presence by entering new markets.