April 5, 2018 / 5:12 PM / 3 months ago

Saudi Aramco, Total to sign refinery expansion deal next week: sources

PARIS/DUBAI (Reuters) - State oil giant Saudi Aramco and French oil major Total plan to sign an agreement next week for the expansion of their joint venture refinery in Saudi Arabia, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: A Saudi Aramco employee sits in the area of its stand at the Middle East Petrotech 2016, an exhibition and conference for the refining and petrochemical industries, in Manama, Bahrain, September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo

The agreement would include an extension of the petrochemical complex at Saudi Arabia Total Refining and Petrochemical (SATORP) refinery in Jubail and could also include adding a cracker unit, the sources said.

The signing of the agreement is likely to be on Tuesday during an official visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to France, the sources added.

Total declined to comment. Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Saudi Aramco owns 62.5 percent of SATORP and Total holds a 37.5 percent stake.

The two companies have already been operating the 400,000 barrels per day SATORP refinery integrated with petrochemical production and have considered expanding petrochemicals output for several years.

In October, Total said it was in talks with Aramco to expand the SATORP refinery by more than 10 percent.

Both companies were also considering building a mixed-feed cracker and derivatives unit in Jubail, near their joint refining complex, industry sources have said.

The SATOROP refinery on Saudi Arabia’s east coast was launched in 2014 and is considered one of the world’s most advanced plants producing fuels and plastics.

The logo of French oil giant Total is seen at its first gas station in Mexico City, Mexico January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

Writing by Rania El Gamal, editing by David Evans

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