By SUMMER SAID and GERALDINE AMIEL
Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co., known as Satorp,
said Thursday it has started operations at its 400,000bpd
refinery in Jubail in eastern Saudi Arabia and will export its
first cargo this month.
"Start-up is progressing as per the plan. Production is
starting from the refinery and first shipment will be
exported before the end of September," the company said in an
emailed statement. "Further to this first shipment, other
products will be exported as per the start-up schedule and the
Satorp, 62.5% owned by state-giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co.,
known as Saudi Aramco, with the rest held by French oil company
Total, was initially expected to be fully operational during
the third quarter of 2013. But Total CEO Christophe de Margerie
said in April that the refinery will start operating at
full capacity by the end of the year.
The refinery complex is estimated to cost about $14 billion
to build and is part of a drive by the world's top oil exporter
to boost refining capacity.
In December, Satorp said it will double its capital to 7.12
billion Saudi riyals ($1.95 billion) in the first quarter of
2013 to fund the refinery. The capital increase was
paid in cash by shareholders in proportion to their stakes and
didn't change ownership levels.
Dow Jones Newswires