Saudi company investing billions in Texas refinery

Fuel Fix:
Saudi Arabia’s Motiva Enterprises said it plans to spend billions of dollars more to expand its Port Arthur Refinery — already North America’s largest — and grow more in the petrochemical and refining sectors.

Motiva, which finalized its divorce from Royal Dutch Shell in the beginning of May, said it plans to spend close to $18 billion in the U.S., largely along the Gulf Coast, within the next five years.

Although scant on details, this comes after Motiva already expanded the Port Arthur Refinery in recent years. Motiva emphasized it will continue to expand its crown jewel asset in Texas near the Louisiana border.

Motiva, which operated as a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Shell for nearly 20 years, is now purely a Saudi venture with a growing headquarters in downtown Houston. The Motiva growth is intended as part of an overall Saudi strategy to diversify its global footprint, including substantial growth in Texas.
Likewise, Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Basic Industries Corp., called Sabic, has a joint venture with Exxon Mobil to develop a $10 billion chemicals and plastic complex north of Corpus Christi.

Motiva said it plans to branch out into the chemical sector, explore more refining growth and expand its commercial operations.
They are also investing in a new port terminal in Port Arthur, Texas.  Much of the news coming out of President Trump's trip to Saudi Arabia was tied to investments, but much of the focus was on new investments in the Rust Belt which has been a focus of Trump's job creation efforts.

What Texas needs most is refining capacity for light crude like that being produced from shale wells in West and South Texas.   Since most of the Saudi oil exports are of heavy crude, it is not clear whether these companies will convert their refineries for the West Texas light crude.


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