Fujairah, UAE — The New Silk Road is an increasingly popular term referring to an emerging network of infrastructure, enhanced transportation routes, and widening economic and energy corridors between the Far East and Europe, with the Arabian Gulf region as the geographical nexus enabling this growth.
For its part, the Gulf region has particularly seen growth in a number of industrial sectors specifically contributing to the development of its role as a world-class trading hub for energy.
Against this backdrop, Saudi Aramco’s wholly owned trading arm, Aramco Trading Company (ATC), has emerged as a regional leader, as was evidenced recently when ATC president and CEO Ibrahim Q. Al-Buainain was named 2017 New Silk Road CEO of the Year for Trading at a gala dinner in Fujairah.
The New Silk Road CEO of the Year Awards were developed to celebrate a new wave of economic integration between the Arabian Gulf region and the Far East, and to recognize the pioneering industry leaders who are at the forefront of what is being seen as a revival of the ancient Silk Road trade route, according to Sean Evers of Gulf Intelligence — a strategic communications and research firm. Evers is the founder and chairman of the award.
The 2017 inaugural awards are the result of a lengthy and rigorous selection process where candidates were nominated by international stakeholders operating across the New Silk Road in the areas of energy trading, storage, shipping and ports, and refining.
A diverse range of industry experts scored the nominees on four attributes: impact, leadership and partnership, innovation and creative thinking, and long-term vision. The top five nominees from each sector were then placed on a shortlist, which was passed on to a wider industry audience of more than 2,000 executives and officials operating in the New Silk Road downstream energy sector to vote for the top candidates.
Award a reflection on ATC employees
In accepting the award, Al-Buainain pointed to the rapid growth and success of ATC, crediting the employees as the drivers of that success.
“It is indeed a great honor and privilege to join such esteemed colleagues and the distinguished industry leaders that are being recognized here today,” said Al-Buainain. “But to me, this award is more a reflection of the talent and determination of all the employees and members of the Aramco Trading Company team, for it is through their hard work that I stand before this audience and celebrate the role that ATC plays in building the New Silk Road.”
Since its establishment in January 2012, ATC has emerged as a leading and fast-growing global trading company. The company’s steady growth includes the achieved annual traded volumes, products portfolio, geographical coverage, market share, and performance reliability, in addition to the commercial support extended to Saudi Aramco’s downstream system, including international joint ventures.
ATC’s mission is to integrate Saudi Aramco’s global downstream to maximize profitability and ensure that Saudi Aramco’s operations are optimized and reliably balanced. ATC’s long-term vision is to become one of the top three trading powerhouses through the integration of Saudi Aramco’s downstream assets.
As part of the community Services activities, Aramco Trading Company (ATC) organized a campaign for distribution of Ramadan food baskets to a number of needy families in eastern province. More than 70 baskets that contain basic food items were distributed in coordination with Dareen Island charity Association. Baskets have been distributed to more than 60 Families. ATC aims is to help underprivileged people who are in need by bringing joy and happiness to their hearts and to promote brotherhood and social solidarity.
Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. The subsidiary of Saudi Aramco uses those refinery assets to get an edge on other traders who rely on the most up to date information about supply and demand in the market.
“Having information on the market by itself isn’t enough anymore as everyone has access to the same information these days,” Al-Buainain said in an interview on Monday in Dubai. “The key is that you need to own assets.”
Aramco has stakes in 5.4 million barrels a day of refining capacity, from Saudi Arabia to South Korea to the U.S. The company targets doubling that capacity within a decade even as it battles other crude producers for market share. Such an increase would make Aramco the biggest crude processor. It’s pursuing the expansion while also planning an initial public offering, which the government asserts will be the world’s largest.
Aramco Trading Co., or ATC, benefits from its parent’s global network of refineries and access to tankers and storage sites, and it currently trades 1.5 million barrels a day, Al-Buainain said. It has 2.6 million barrels of storage capacity at the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah and 1 million barrels of storage at Yanbu on the Saudi Red Sea coast, he said. It also blends fuels at those facilities to better meet customers’ requirements, he said.
“You make money because you can optimize,” he said. “You make a bigger shipment instead of a smaller one; you use blending to tailor products to markets and meet the product specifications you want.” ATC hedges all of its trades that involve shipping cargoes between different regions and that provide for fuel delivery in the future, he said on the sidelines of the Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference.
Vitol Group, the world’s biggest independent oil trader, and other traders are considering further expanding into refining, storage sites and fuel retail chains to increase profit, Chris Bake, an executive committee member and head of origination, said at the same conference. “We look at integrating into the downstream a little further, integrating into refining a bit.”
Aramco Trading, which started operating in 2012, will reach its targeted volume once its parent completes refining projects including a facility at Jazan on the Red Sea and some international ventures, Al-Buainain said. He didn’t specify a date for achieving the target. Aramco has said the 400,000 barrel-a-day Jazan refinery will start next year.
While about two-thirds of Aramco Trading’s transactions go toward supplying the Saudi domestic market and selling its parent’s refinery output, Al-Buainain said he sees opportunities elsewhere in the Middle East as well as in Africa and Asia.
Saudi Arabia has reduced crude output this year as the leader of a global initiative to curb supplies. Production was 10 million barrels a day in March compared with 10.48 million a day in December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
ATC has about 200 employees, mainly at its headquarters in the eastern Saudi city of Dhahran. It plans to double the staff at its first international office in Singapore to about 20 people this year, Al-Buainain said.
SEOUL, Jan 5 (Reuters) - South Korea's S-Oil, the country's third-largest refiner, has signed a deal to sell a combined $1 billion of diesel, naphtha and jet fuel this year to Saudi Aramco, its biggest shareholder.
In a filing to the Seoul stock exchange on Thursday, S-Oil said it would sell a total of 38 million barrels of refined products to Saudi Aramco Products Trading Company, Aramco's trading arm.
A year ago, S-Oil signed a deal to sell up to 24 million barrels of diesel and up to 20 million barrels of naphtha to the Saudi trading firm.
Under the deal for the whole of 2017, S-Oil agreed to supply 10-28 million barrels of diesel, 6-8 million barrels of naphtha and 1-2 million barrels of jet fuel. For the diesel product, S-Oil said it would supply ultra-light sulfur diesel and light sulfur diesel, while the naphtha would be light naphtha,
S-Oil buys almost all of its crude from Saudi Aramco, which has a 63 percent stake in the Korean firm.
Most recently, in November last year, S-Oil sold 11 million barrels of naphtha to Korea Petroleum Industries Co.
Khobar-Saudi oil giant Aramco has appointed Ibrahim al-Buainain as chief executive officer of its trading unit, replacing Yasser Mufti, who was named executive director of new business development in June.
Buainain held the position of head of transaction development at Saudi Aramco for less than a year, and prior to that, he was president of Aramco Asia, which extends from China to India.
Before taking over his new post in Asia, al-Buainain was heading Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV), which was established by him in 2011 until it was launched in 2012.
Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper was informed by its sources that Buainain started his new role earlier this month.
Prior to appointing Buainain, Saudi Aramco made new appointments to its executive ranks at its board meeting in Japan while reappointing president and chief executive Amin Nasser.
It appointed Nabeel al-Mansour as the general counsel and corporate secretary and Said al-Hadrami as vice president of international operations.
In a common matter, the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia or NSCSA (Bahri) and Vela, a subsidiary of the world’s largest producer and exporter of oil, Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco), formed an alliance under the contribution of Buainain and other major leaders; thus, forming the world’s second largest company for carrying crude oil.