Aramco Says Will Boost Crude Loading Capacity

The move will allow the kingdom to maintain exports from the west coast.The move will allow the kingdom to maintain exports from the west coast.

State oil giant Saudi Aramco plans to launch its overhauled Muajjiz oil terminal on the Red Sea next year, lifting its total loading and export capacity to as much as 15 million barrels per day, Saudi officials said.

Located on the Red Sea, Muajjiz had been used as an export terminal for Iraqi crude through the Iraqi Pipeline in Saudi Arabia (IPSA), but it has not carried Iraqi crude since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, Reuters reported.

The pipeline was confiscated by Saudi Arabia in 2001 as compensation for debts owed by Baghdad.

Saudi Arabia had used the IPSA pipeline to transport gas to power plants in the west of the country for years before test opening it in 2012.

Bringing Muajjiz terminal online next year would boost the kingdom's total oil handling capacity to 15 million barrels per day from 11.5 million bpd currently, Mohammed al-Qahtani, Aramco's senior vice president for upstream, told Reuters in an interview at the company's headquarters in Dhahran.

The additional capacity from Muajjiz, which will be integrated into the Yanbu crude oil terminal, will accommodate the increased volumes of fuel oil and supplies of Arabian Heavy crude oil to the Yasref, Jazan, and Jiddah local refineries.

The move will boost Aramco's ability to meet its commitments to customers and maintain its export capability from the kingdom's west coast. Saudi Aramco has also cut its June official selling prices (OSPs) for all the crude grades it sells to Asia, an industry source familiar with the matter said Monday.

Prices for Arab Light were cut by 40 cents, Arab Super Light by 70 cents and Arab Extra Light by 60 cents from the previous month, the source said. Arab Heavy was cut by 20 cents and Arab Medium prices by 45 cents, the source said.


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