Saudi Aramco acquires trading arm of US refiner Motiva

Saudi Aramco has acquired the trading arm of US refiner Motiva Enterprises LLC as the state-owned oil giant expands its operations in the Americas.

It also set up a new entity, Houston-based Aramco Trading Americas LLC, which will be the regional hub for the Saudi company’s trading arm, it said in a statement.

ATA will be the sole supplier and offtaker for Motiva, which owns the biggest refinery in the US, the 630,000 barrel-a-day Port Arthur plant.

The moves are “a giant step towards executing our ambitious global growth strategy,” said Mohammed K. al-Mulhim, chief executive of Aramco’s trading operations.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, is pushing ahead with plans for an initial public offering of its energy-trading business that could value the unit at more than $30 billion, Bloomberg reported in October.

Other national oil companies in the Arabian Gulf are seeking to build their trading businesses, in a shift for the firms that have traditionally stuck to a simple model of pumping crude and exporting it. Now, they’re looking to boost profits by moving into more lucrative areas of the market.

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