Saudi Aramco has signed an agreement to invest an undisclosed amount into a petrochemical refinery project in China, a move that comes as part of the state-owned oil giant’s strategy to expand its downstream operations globally.
The deal emerged during a conference in China that focused on petroleum and gas enterprises, and will see Saudi Aramco acquire a stake in Zhejiang Petrochemical’s new refinery project.
It also comes shortly after Aramco signed a crude oil supply agreement with Zhejiang Petrochemical.
“We are exploring opportunities for new refining and petrochemicals facilities, making further investments in China,” said Abdulaziz Al Judaimi, a senior Aramco VP overseeing downstream, in a statement. “We are also a major JV partner in a growing portfolio of refining and petrochemical assets in China.”
Aramco isn’t the only high-profile Saudi firm eying opportunity in China.
In September 2018, state-controlled chemicals company Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) signed a preliminary agreement to develop a large petrochemicals complex in China’s Fujian province.
Meanwhile, next door in the UAE, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is looking to expand its relationship with China’s energy majors, a move that comes as part of the state-owned oil giant’s push to become a global downstream player.
ADNOC’s Group CEO, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, travelled to Beijing earlier this year to meet with a series of Chinese oil, gas, refining and petrochemical industry companies, with the stated goal of expanding and deepening investment and partnership opportunities that could enhance the company’s upstream and downstream capabilities.