By SUMMER SAID
DUBAI -- Saudi Aramco has restarted its Red Sea Yanbu
refinery, which it owns with ExxonMobil, after nearly two
months of maintenance.
With the restart, the refinery is bringing a new clean
fuels project online. The plant will
reach its full capacity this week, two people familiar with the
The refinery, which is operated by
SAMREF, has a capacity of about 400,000 bpd of Saudi Arabian
crude oil, half of which is consumed domestically, but will
only reach that level in a few days, the people told Dow
During maintenance, which started in March,
SAMREF boosted the reliability of the fluid catalytic
cracker, which helps turn crude oil into gasoline, and upgraded
the refinery to produce cleaner fuels.
fuels project is expected to reduce sulfur
levels by more than 98% in gasoline in 2013 and in diesel by
SAMREF is the supplier of gasoline in the western region of
the kingdom, according to the Saudi Aramco website.
Saudi Arabia is expanding its refining capacity to produce more
gasoline and diesel to meet rising domestic demand.
Saudi Aramco owns and operates four refineries serving the
local market, with a combined refining capacity of 1 million bpd.
The firm also has a 50% interest in SAMREF and in SATORP, a
joint venture with Total, which will also produce cleaner
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