Saudi Aramco defers plans to sign aromatics term contracts until Q1-2013

Though Saudi Aramco is in regular talks with prospective buyers in China, South Korea and Japan, it will not sign contracts with prospective buyers of its aromatics cargoes before Q1-2013, as per Platts. The cargoes of paraxylene and benzene will be seen in late 2013 from its 400,000 bpd refinery in Jubail Industrial City, currently under construction. Aromatics production at the Jubail plant is expected to start in Q2-2013. Saudi Aramco is looking to sell large volume cargoes of 25,000-100,000 tons of paraxylene and benzene; under long-term contracts. Saudi Aramco and Total are building a refinery in Jubail Industrial City 2 to produce gasoline, low-sulfur diesel and naphtha. The project will also process heavy crude to produce 700,000 tpa of paraxylene, 140,000 tpa of benzene and 200,000 tpa of polymer grade propylene. While Aramco will have a claim on half of the output, the other half will be sold by Total. Saudi Aramco and Total set up a joint company called Saudi Aramco Total Refinery and Petrochemical Company, or Satorp, to build the refinery. While Aramco holds a 62.5% stake in the project, Total holds 37.5%.
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