Abu Dhabi - Saudi Aramco’s plan to set up and run petrol stations across the kingdom will help the world’s biggest crude exporter secure a long-term market for its oil barrels and expand its services in line with the offerings of its global rivals, United Arab Emirates’ paper The National wrote.
The state-owned company’s expansion into the fuel retail business is the next logical step - and a long time coming - after signing major international deals in refining and petrochemicals as part of its strategy to grow across the energy supply chain, economists and analysts said.
The oil giant, reports The National, formed a fully-owned subsidiary, Saudi Aramco RetailCo, to establish a network of gas stations and convenience stores in the country. Aramco is focusing on becoming an integrated energy company, which means it is expanding its operations beyond oil extraction into the entire supply chain including refining, marketing and distribution of fuels and petrochemicals.
The company is increasingly seeking opportunities in downstream projects and is in talks to buy a 70 per cent stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, one of the biggest petrochemicals manufacturers in the Middle East, from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund.