Saudi Aramco opens head Asia office in Beijing


BEIJING -- State owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Aramco, has opened a new Chinese head office in Beijing, deepening its presences in one of the world's largest energy consumers, in a move the company says "underscores the strategic importance of Asia" in its operation.

Aramco Asia, a solely-owned subsidiary of Aramco, opened on Monday and will serve as the business and cultural exchange portal between Aramco and China. The new head office in Beijing has two supporting branches in Shanghai and Xiamen, it said.

"Our new Asia office here in Beijing will be a hub for facilitating our joint activities in general and in particular investment and other business opportunities arising from the capital projects in Saudi Arabia and Asia," said Aramco senior vice president Abdulrahman F. Al-Wuhaib at the Aramco Asia inauguration ceremony on Monday in Beijing.

The new offices will provide crude oil and chemicals marketing services, joint venture coordination, procurement, inspection, research and development, project management, human resources development and communications in the region, according to the press release.

Aramco already has two joint ventures in China with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec Group, and ExxonMobil. It holds a 22.5% stake in retail oil products distributor Sinopec SenMei Petroleum Co., and a 25% stake in the Fujian Refining & Petrochemical Co., which operates a 240,000-bpd refinery. The province of Fuji also has a 25% stake in the operation.

Saudi Aramco is also planning to sell chemical products from FRPC to tap in to China's lucrative chemical market, the press release said.

Separately, Aramco is developing a 400,000-bpd refinery in Yanbu on the Saudi Red Sea coast together with Sinopec. Aramco will own 62.5% stakes in the project.

Dow Jones Newswires

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