Saudi's Aramco teams up with Chinese firm for oil refinery

AP , Thursday 17 Mar 2011

Joint venture agreed for Yanbu plant slated for opening in 2014

State-run oil giant Saudi Aramco says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the China Petrochemical Corp. for the development of the multi-billion dollar Yanbu refining complex.

Aramco said in a statement released late Wednesday it would hold a 62.5 per cent equity interest in the project while Sinopec would hold the remainder should they decide "to formally participate in a joint venture." ConocoPhillips pulled out of the project in April, but Aramco said it would continue.

The refinery will process 400,000 barrels per day of heavy oil and is slated to be operational in 2014. 

Saudi Arabia and China have been boosting oil sector ties, with the Asian powerhouse's need for energy to fuel its economy prompting it to spread its reach wide globally.

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