Saudi Aramco to invest USD30 billion in Motiva refinery

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) announced plans to invest up to USD30 billion in its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary Motiva Enterprises LLC during the recent Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum, which coincided with the state visit of U.S. President Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia.

“We are investing in long-term job creation and the future of the refining industry in the U.S., and we are delivering on Vision 2030 to expand the US-Saudi partnership,” Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Al Nasser said. Vision 2030 is a plan announced last year by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to diversify the Saudi economy.

Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell plc finalised the execution of definitive agreements to separate and transfer the assets, liabilities and businesses of their Motiva joint venture in March this year.

“With the joint venture separation behind us, there is a real sense of self-sufficiency at Motiva,” said Dan Romasko, Motiva’s president and CEO. “Our employees have embraced the changing culture, which has turned Motiva into a more agile organization. We have given employees added responsibility, but at the same time empowered them to make decisions and be accountable for our results.”

An initial investment of USD12 billion would be injected into a project to expand the refining capacity at Motiva’s Port Arthur, Texas, refinery and to extend Motiva’s operations in the petrochemical value chain.

An additional investment of USD18 billion is being planned by 2023.

The growth strategy follows a concerted effort to transform the performance of Motiva. Since 2014, Motiva has improved safety and reliability performance by nearly 50%; captured significant value through improvements in refinery operations; and maximised the company’s end-to-end value delivery through its trading organization. Additionally, the company expanded its headquarters in Houston, Texas and repatriated offshore back-office functions to a third-party service provider in Tulsa, Okla.

Motiva also recently completed an expansion of the Port Arthur Refinery’s largest hydrocracking unit and diesel hydrotreater, resulting in a 30% increase in capacity. An ongoing project with Northstar Terminals LLC to build a new marine terminal and related facilities at the Port of Port Arthur is expected to be complete in July 2017.

“Motiva has made significant strides over the last three years to reposition our business through focused improvement efforts and organic growth opportunities,” said Romasko. “Our next chapter will be even more exciting as we expand our reach into new areas of growth and development.”

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Motiva refines, distributes and markets petroleum products throughout the United States. Motiva owns and operates North America’s largest refinery in Port Arthur, Texas with a crude capacity of more than 600,000 barrels a day.

The company also operates the country’s largest lubricant plant for both consumer and commercial use. Under exclusive, long-term brand licenses with Shell and Phillips 66 (for the 76 Brand), Motiva’s marketing operations support more than 5,200 retail gasoline stations.