Saudi Aramco creates fuel retail subsidiary

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Saudi Aramco is establishing a domestic fuel retailing subsidiary as part of the national oil company’s drive to expand beyond crude oil production into downstream businesses. (File Photo/Reuters)
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Saudi Aramco signed a MoU with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Higher Institute of Technology and Training and the Al-Ayoun Charitable Society for Social Services to establish a center for date products in Al-Ahsa Governorate. (SPA)
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Saudi Aramco signed a MoU with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Higher Institute of Technology and Training and the Al-Ayoun Charitable Society for Social Services to establish a center for date products in Al-Ahsa Governorate. (SPA)
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Saudi Aramco signed a MoU with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Higher Institute of Technology and Training and the Al-Ayoun Charitable Society for Social Services to establish a center for date products in Al-Ahsa Governorate. (SPA)
Updated 10 January 2019
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Saudi Aramco creates fuel retail subsidiary

JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco is establishing a domestic fuel retailing subsidiary as part of the national oil company’s drive to expand beyond crude oil production into downstream businesses.
The new firm, Saudi Aramco Retail Co, will create a network of filling stations within Saudi Arabia to sell automotive fuels, Aramco said on Wednesday, without giving details of the size, cost or time-frame for the network.
In April, Aramco said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with French firm Total to evaluate the feasibility of jointly buying a retail service station network in Saudi Arabia.
But Wednesday’s statement did not mention Total or the possibility of buying existing stations. The new Saudi network will complement a global retail network which Aramco already operates through joint ventures, the company said.
In the long run, the new retail subsidiary could help Saudi authorities conduct an initial public offer of shares in Aramco.
Aramco is now focusing on a range of downstream projects, including the purchase of a major stake in petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries, which could boost its value and attractiveness to international investors, ultimately allowing the IPO to go ahead.
Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Higher Institute of Technology and Training and the Al-Ayoun Charitable Society for Social Services to establish a center for date products in Al-Ahsa Governorate, in the framework of the company’s ongoing efforts to empower local communities.
The MoU aims to establish a date products center that works to develop high quality products, such as molasses, date paste, and date sweets.
The material returns of these products far outweigh the direct selling of dates, which is positively reflected on the community. There are about 100 beneficiaries, where people with low incomes and special needs in the province will benefit from this center.
The center will support the beneficiaries by qualifying them to the highest standards and developing their capabilities in the fields of recycling, packaging and the marketing of dates.
Saudi Aramco Vice President, Nabeel Al-Jama’, said that this initiative is part of Saudi Aramco’s objectives to contribute to empowering the community through a series of community-based programs to support people in dire need to enable them to support themselves and their families.
“It also serves an estimated segment of the people of the province of Al-Ahsa by supplying jobs that provide them with sustainable financial income,” he said.
He added “the agreement will promote sustainability, citizenship and local added value and the company will continue to provide development projects that contribute to increasing GDP in partnership with private and government institutions.”
He also said the agreement will preserve natural resources and benefit from the competitive advantages of the Kingdom’s regions, inorder to develop them to benefit future generations.


Oil prices climb on improving US demand signs, OPEC agrees to meeting date

Updated 35 min 23 sec ago
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Oil prices climb on improving US demand signs, OPEC agrees to meeting date

  • After swelling to near two-year highs, US crude stocks fell by 3.1 million barrels last week
  • Members of the OPEC agreed to meet on July 1

TOKYO: Oil prices rose nearly 2 percent on Thursday on signs of improving demand in the United States, the world’s biggest crude consumer, and as OPEC and other producers finally agreed to a date for a meeting to discuss output cuts.
Brent crude futures rose $1.13, or 1.8 percent, to $62.95 a barrel at 0611 GMT. They dropped 0.5 percent on Wednesday.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 90 cents, or 1.7 percent, at $54.66 a barrel. WTI fell 0.26 percent in the previous session.
“It’s a very mixed bag of factors. In the US (oil) demand is likely to be picking up into summer and the OPEC meeting looks like there’s going to be an extension or even more cuts is a possibility,” said Phin Zeibell, senior economist at National Australia Bank.
After swelling to near two-year highs, US crude stocks fell by 3.1 million barrels last week, compared with analyst expectations for a draw of 1.1 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.
Refined products also posted surprise drawdowns due to a rise as gasoline demand ticked higher on a weekly basis and surged 6.5 percent from a year ago.
Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to meet on July 1, followed by a meeting with non-OPEC allies on July 2, after weeks of wrangling over dates.
OPEC and its allies will discuss whether to extend a deal on cutting 1.2 million barrels per day of production that runs out this month.
Momentum for an agreement appeared to be building as the United Arab Emirates’ energy minister told Al-Bayan newspaper that an extension is “logical and reasonable.”
Expectations the US Federal Reserve could cut interest rates at its next meeting and confirmation that the chief US trade negotiator will meet his Chinese counterpart before a meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping next week are also supporting markets.
“Fresh stimulus from the largest economies will greatly improve the demand side argument. A positive outcome with the US — China would be icing on the cake,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at brokers OANDA.
Tensions remain high in the Middle East after last week’s tanker attacks, which boosted oil prices. Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted, with Washington blaming Tehran, which has denied any role.
In the latest escalation, Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have shot down a US “spy” drone in the southern province of Hormozgan, the Guards’ news website Sepah News said on Thursday.
“The geopolitical side is the wild card and can’t be predicted, not just the Iran concerns but also the trade meeting between Trump and Xi,” said Zeibell, adding “we expect to see an improvement in oil prices over the next month or two.”