Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co has recorded a second-quarter net profit but is 55.1% below Q1 earnings. The joint venture of state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco and Japan's Sumitomo Chemicals made SR 121.8 mln in the three months to end-June against a net loss of 236 mln a year ago, and Q1 net profit of SR 271.5 mln. The quarter-to-quarter net profit drop was due to non-recurring gains the firm made during the first quarter of 2010. Second-quarter earnings can be attributed to "positive in terms of operations, growth and net profit”. Operating profit stood at SR 82.9 mln in Q2 rising from an operating loss of SR 264.6 mln in the same period in 2009.
As per Reuters, analysts say PetroRabigh relies on petrochemical products profitability to offset low margins from its refined oil products, most of which are destined for the Saudi market and sold at a giveaway price. PetroRabigh’s June naphtha output was back to normal after it found the gasoline-additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) had contaminated some production slated for use as a petrochemical feedstock. PetroRabigh, which caters mainly to the Saudi market and Europe and North Africa, can process 400,000 bpd of crude, accounting for about 19% of Saudi Arabia's total refining capacity. It can produce an annual 18 mln tons of refined products and 2.4 mln tons of petrochemical products.