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Total and Saudi Aramco take next steps towards “world-class” petrochemical complex

Global oil producing giants Total and Saudi Aramco have signed a joint development agreement for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) of a “world-class” petrochemical complex next to the SATORP refinery in Jubail, on Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast. Process Industry Forum explores the ramifications of this historic agreement.

First integrated mixed-feed cracker in the Gulf

This significant accord strengthens existing ties between Saudi Aramco, one of the largest companies in the world by revenue and reportedly the most profitable, and French multinational Total, one of the seven powerful “Big Oil” or “Supermajors” in the oil industry. The “world-class” complex will be located next to the SATORP refinery, joint-operated by Saudi Aramco and Total, in a bid to “fully exploit operational synergies”.

The new complex will comprise a mixed-feed cracker (50% ethane and refinery off-gases) – the first in the Gulf region to be integrated with a refinery – boasting a capacity of 1.5 million tons of ethylene per year and related high-added-value petrochemical units. Scheduled for start-up in 2024, the project represents an investment of around $5 billion.

The project is set to provide feedstock to petrochemical and specialty chemical plants in the Jubail industrial area and beyond, equating to $4 billion of additional third-party investment for the Saudi economy. Therefore, the overall project represents an investment of approximately $9 billion and is expected to create 8,000 local direct and indirect jobs.

High-value fuels and petrochemical products

“SATORP’s second-phase expansion represents a quantum leap in Saudi Aramco’s downstream strategy to maximize our hydrocarbon resources and help position the Kingdom as a chemicals manufacturing hub, thus supporting economic diversification,” said Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Officer Amin H. Nasser.

“Today’s signing will deliver on multiple levels, from high-value fuels and petrochemical products for consumers on three continents to meaningful job creation and local content development. We’re pleased to celebrate with Total this latest milestone in the SATORP journey.”

Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Total added: “We are delighted to write a new page of our joint history by launching a new giant project, building on the successful development of SATORP, our biggest and most efficient refinery in the world.

“This world-class complex also fits with our strategy to expand in petrochemicals by maximizing the synergies within our major platforms, leveraging low-cost feedstocks and taking advantage of the fast-growing Asian polymer market.”

For more information visit www.total.com/en.

Company Profile

Total S.A.

Total is a multinational integrated oil and gas company. Its businesses cover the entire oil and gas chain, from crude oil and natural gas exploration and production to power generation, transportation, refining, petroleum product marketing, and international crude oil and product trading.

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