By Souhail Karam
First gasoline cargo shipment to Saudi city by $10.3bn JV; capacity potential 60,000 bpd.
Saudi-based Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co (PetroRabigh) said on Wednesday it shipped its first gasoline cargo to a Saudi city.The $10.3 billion joint-venture between Saudi Aramco and Japan's Sumitomo Chemical, initially designed to be export-oriented, sent the shipment of 320,000 barrels of high octane gasoline to the southern city of Jizan, it said in a statement posted on the bourse's website.
PetroRabigh, which started partial operation of its facilities in the fourth-quarter of 2008, has the capacity to produce up to 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) of high octane gasoline that will be converted from fuel oil.
The world's top oil exporter is witnessing strong growth in gasoline demand as the economy expands. Production from Petrorabigh was expected to help meet that demand and reduce dependency on imports. Traders anticipated that most of the gasoline output from PetroRabigh would go to the Saudi market.
The kingdom's gasoline imports are expected to fall about 15,000 bpd this year, energy consultancy PFC Energy said in a report. (Reuters)