Aramco Trading Co. (ATC), which expects to see its oil trading volume rise to 6 million barrels per day (bpd) by next year, has opened its second international office in Fujairah with the firm’s chairman and senior vice president of Downstream with Saudi Aramco, Abdulaziz M. Al-Judaimi, and ATC president and CEO Ibrahim Q. Al-Buainain in attendance.
ATC’s expansion plans are expected to propel the Dhahran-based company into the top tier of global fuel trading companies. The wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco opened the office in the UAE’s Fujairah as part of a global push into new markets to secure buyers for refined products, as well as crude oil.
The new facility, Aramco Trading Fujairah (ATF), will handle all Aramco Trading gasoline and fuel oil storage and blending activities.
“We’ve been in Fujairah for a number of years and as our trading business expands globally — between Singapore, Saudi Arabia, London, and Houston — we trade across different time zones, and with Fujairah as the center of our blending operations, we thought it’s important to be here physically doing trading as a business in Fujairah,” said Al-Judaimi. “We are very happy with the relationships here — be it with our clients, our suppliers and the government — they have been very open and have welcomed us to be here for many years.”
“Aramco Trading has experienced significant growth in recent years,” said Al-Buainain. “We started in 2012 with 600,000 to 700,000 bpd and now we’re operating at more than 4 million bpd — and as the downstream business grows to the level that we want to reach 8-10 million bpd — Aramco Trading will grow together with that business.
“At Fujairah, we have a growing business that started with 100,000 bpd and now we have 350,000 bpd between gasoline and fuel oil. So, for this reason, Fujairah would be the optimum location that is close to our assets and close to the free zone.”
The inauguration of the new office facility comes only a month after Aramco Trading announced that it had sold its first LNG cargo — the first of many more to come.
In 2012, ATC was established to market refined products, and bulk petrochemicals. Beginning with refined products from its overseas refineries in the past years, leading them to introduce trading non-Saudi crude oil in 2017 as the world’s largest oil exporter successfully optimizes profits.
As the UAE’s only emirate on the Arabian Sea coast, Fujairah is at the heart of the new energy corridor opening east of Suez to Asia. The emirate is already established as a world-scale storage and bunkering center alongside Rotterdam and Singapore, and is set to benefit in the next few years from plans to expand crude and petroleum product facilities to avail of the state-of-the-art physical infrastructure on offer.