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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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Saudi Arabia's Solution To Rising U.S. Gas Prices

The first U.S.-bound shipment of reformulated blendstock gasoline produced at a Saudi refinery operated by Aramco and Total is on its way, Reuters reports, citing the official Twitter account of the Aramco-Total joint venture.

The news suggests that with U.S. gas prices at the pump at three-year highs, perhaps this market has proved too potentially lucrative to resist. However, Energy Aspects analyst Robert Campbell noted to Reuters, this also means that Asia is way oversupplied with fuels, so producers need to find alternative destinations for their products.

Aramco and Total have big plans for the Jubail Satorp refinery outside fuel production as well. Earlier this year, the French company signed a US$5-billion contract with Aramco to add a petrochemicals complex to the refinery.

The total cost of the project will be US$9 billion, the partners have estimated, with the complex featuring a 1.5-million-ton ethylene cracker that will feed petrochemical and specialty chemical production facilities in the complex.

The 440,000-bpd Jubail Satorp refinery was built in 2008 and was supposed to produce fuels for the domestic Saudi market to satisfy growing domestic demand. Yet the reforms undertaken by Riyadh, which also include higher prices at the pump, have dented domestic thirst for gasoline. Related: Oil Prices Rise On Supply Outage In Norway

This decline could be reversed now that a ban on women driving was lifted. “There will be more cars on the road,” Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih said last month. "Women will be more empowered and more mobile and I think they will participate more in the job market over time, so I think it’s going to contribute to employment of females in Saudi Arabia. A secondary effect will probably be higher gasoline demand.”

Besides the expected growth in domestic demand, Saudi Arabia is focusing on diversifying its export portfolio away from crude oil and into more value-added oil products.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Mitch on July 12 2018 said:
    Yet gasoline stocks are at the 5 year high for the USA...
  • Tom on July 12 2018 said:
    Gee, I wonder why gasoline prices are high? I hope Ted Curz is Smiling, he saved the East Coast from using more American Made Ethanol, (that costs 70 cents per gallon less than gasoline), so they can now use more high price Saudi Gasoline.

    Wonder how this will “help” PES.

    “We’re from Washington, and were here to help!”

    Way to go Ted!

    Funny how what goes around - comes around.

    Enjoy your Saudi Gasoline East Coast, I wonder if Ted Cruz is happy now that your fuel dollars are helping the ultra rich Saudi Arabia, and not the American Farmer who feeds you.
  • More Tom on July 12 2018 said:
    The Title of the Article “Saudi Arabia’s Solution to Rising US Gas Prices”

    Is really sad to me.

    You see, we have a solution right here at Home, but No One in the Administration or at the EPA is Listening. Voices of Reason are being drowned out by oil people like Ted Cruz from Texas, John Barrasso from Wyoming and Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania. These people are fighting a simple solution that makes a lot of sense for America.

    The Solution? More Ethanol Blending to extend gasoline supplies and reduce gasoline costs.

    Ethanol is significantly lower in cost than gasoline and has way more octane than the bad stuff refiners use like Benzene. So, if you want cleaner air from a cleaner fuel, with a higher octane at a lower price, then take a step back from the “No Ethanol Pump”, Ted Cruz wants you to use, and step up to - cleaner fuels, blended with American Ethanol – The Clean Fuel, Made Right Here in America, by Real Americans!

    How Simple!

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