State oil giant Saudi Aramco has signed a contract with Chinese oil refiner North Huajin Chemical Industries Group Corp to supply its crude in 2017, two sources with knowledge of the matter said, Reuters reported.
Saudi Aramco will supply Arab Extra Light crude to Huajin to enable the Chinese state-controlled refiner to produce more naphtha for its petrochemical production.
Huajin operates a crude oil refinery in Panjin in Liaoning province with a processing capacity of 6mt/y and a petrochemical plant in Panjin that produces 700,000t/y of ethylene, according to an announcement from its listed unit North Huajin Chemical Industries Co Ltd. The company also has fertilizer plants in the Inner Mongolia region and in the Xinjiang region.
The contract, the first between Aramco and Huajin, comes as Saudi Arabia attempts to regain its status as the top crude supplier to China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, in 2017, after losing the top spot to Russia in 2016, Gulf Business informed.
Additionally, and in line with this strategy, Saudi Aramco could also start supplying crude to the Huizhou refinery owned by China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) after an expansion expected to be completed in Q2.