Deal Gives Saudi Arabia Largest U.S. Refinery


Breakup with Shell leaves Saudi company holding sweetest end of the deal.  Be careful who you marry – they could end up with your best assets.

Shell station 1

Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco are getting a divorce, and they are dividing their assets.   Now, when you buy gas at a Shell station in certain parts of the country, it could be 100% Saudi-owned.

Shell and Aramco have been in a joint partnership for almost 20 years, under the name Motiva Enterprises, LLC.    Motiva’s three refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast region have a combined capacity of over 1.1 million barrels per day, located within a 120-mile (195-km) radius of one another. The marketing operations support a network of about 8,300 Shell-branded gasoline stations in the Eastern and Southern United States.

Abdulrahman Al-Wuhaib, senior vice president of downstream at Saudi Aramco, said in a statement on Wednesday that the joint venture formed in 1998 served the partners’ downstream business objectives “very well for many years.”

“It is now time for the partners to pursue their independent downstream goals,” he said.

Under the proposed terms of the breakup, assets will be split as follows:

ARAMCO would take over the Port Arthur, Texas, refinery (the largest refinery in the U.S.) and retain 26 distribution terminals as well as the Motiva name.   It will also have an exclusive license to use the Shell brand for gasoline and diesel sales in Texas, the majority of the Mississippi Valley, the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic markets.

SHELL will solely own the Louisiana refineries in Convent and Norco, where it also operates a chemicals plant, as well as Shell-branded gasoline stations in Florida, Louisiana and the Northeastern region.


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