Saudis’ Aramco Start Trading West Africa Crude Oil

Saudis’ Aramco Start Trading West Africa Crude Oil
Members of media chat before the start of a press conference by Aramco at the Plaza Conference Center in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia November 3, 2019. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The first consignment of West African crude was sold by Aramco Trading Co., highlighting the Saudi Arabian oil giant’s trading ambitions.

According to dealers familiar with the situation, the company assigned a million-barrel shipment of Equatorial Guinea’s Zafiro crude to Exxon Mobil Corp. for loading in early June. Exxon’s own refining system in Europe will process the consignment.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil exporter, is entering the new market at a time when buyers are desperate for alternatives to Russian barrels. West African crude is one alternative to Russian supply, and it is proving popular since it is less sulphurous and heavier than Middle Eastern crude.

Saudi Arabia has made inroads into Russia’s backyard in recent months, with plans to supply Danish and Polish refineries, assisting European countries in weaning themselves off Russian oil. Aramco Trading is trading additional third-party oil, barrels not pumped in Saudi Arabia, in order to meet its aim of 6 million barrels per day. The business frequently processes the barrels at non-Saudi refineries and then resells the products.

A request for response from Aramco Trading was not immediately returned.

Aramco is exploring an IPO for its trading operation, which competes with similar units at Shell Plc, BP Plc, and TotalEnergies SE, in what could be one of the year’s biggest listings.

Saudi Arabia has made inroads into Russia’s backyard in recent months, with plans to supply Danish and Polish refineries, assisting European countries in weaning themselves off Russian oil. Aramco Trading is trading additional third-party oil, barrels not pumped in Saudi Arabia, in order to meet its aim of 6 million barrels per day. The business frequently processes the barrels at non-Saudi refineries and then resells the products.

A request for response from Aramco Trading was not immediately returned.

Aramco is exploring an IPO for its trading operation, which competes with similar units at Shell Plc, BP Plc, and TotalEnergies SE, in what could be one of the year’s biggest listings.


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