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Aramco to buy Shell’s stake in Saudi refining JV for $631 mln

DUBAI, April 21 (Reuters) – Saudi Aramco will acquire Royal Dutch Shell’s 50 percent stake in their Saudi refining joint venture SASREF for $631 million, the two companies said on Sunday.

The purchase, which is part of Aramco’s strategy to expand its downstream operations, will be completed later this year, they said in a joint statement.

Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery Co (SASREF), based in Jubail Industrial City in Saudi Arabia, has a crude oil refining capacity of 305,000 barrels per day (bpd).

“Saudi Aramco will take full ownership and integrate the refinery into its growing downstream portfolio. SASREF will continue to be a critical facility in our refining and chemicals business,” Abdulaziz al-Judaimi, Aramco’s senior vice president of downstream, said in the statement.

Aramco aims to become a global leader in chemicals and the world’s largest integrated energy firm, with plans to expand its refining operations and petrochemical output.

For Shell, “the sale is part of an ongoing effort to focus its refining portfolio, integrating with Shell trading hubs and chemicals,” the company said.

Shell has sold over $30 billion of assets in recent years as it shifts its focus to lower carbon businesses such as natural gas and petrochemicals.

Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Mark Potter and Susan Fenton

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