China receives first cargo of Arabian crude oil from Saudi Aramco

Aram2The vessel’s arrival at the Huizhou terminal was celebrated by an Aramco Asia delegation together with representatives from Cnooc upper management. (Image source: Saudi Aramco)The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (Cnooc) has received first cargo of Arabian crude oil from Saudi Aramco at the Huizhou refinery in South China’s Guangdong province

The original 240,000 bpd Huizhou refinery has recently completed a 200,000 bpd expansion, thereby reaching to 440,000 bpd, said Aramco.

The Huizhou oil refinery is a joint venture between Cnooc and Shell, with both the companied holding 50 per cent shares of the refinery. The refinery had been configured to process sour Arab gulf grades. The Arab Medium crude oil from Aramco is a preferred choice for the plant’s baseload.

Cnooc is the third of China’s three large national oil companies to join Saudi Aramco’s customer family. Prior to its expansion, Huizhou mostly processed domestic oil from Cnooc’s own offshore fields. In 2016, Cnooc produced about 1.1 mmbbl of crude oil and 1.3 bcf of natural gas per day. The total refining capacity of the plat stood at 1.2 million bpd.

The delivery of the first cargo of Arabian crude oil comes in line with the MoU agreement signed between the two companies in 2016, in context of intergovernmental efforts to further energy cooperation and forge closer synergies between Saudi Vision 2030 and China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.

Nabil A Al-Nuaim, the president and CEO of Aramco Asia, noted, “The new crude sales agreement with Cnooc highlights that China is at the front and centre of our downstream strategy.”

“Aramco Asia will continue to support Chinese and other Asian refiners to have access to reliable Saudi crude,” he added.

The crude sale agreement is expected to help Aramco to expand its market share in China. The company said that it will continue to support China to meet the fast growing oil demand in its domestic market.

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