Aramco Buys 17% of South Korean Refiner
Saudi Aramco is continuing its buying spree. Just before the Easter holiday, the oil giant and Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings announced an agreement for Aramco’s Netherlands-headquartered offshoot Aramco Overseas Company (AOC) to purchase a 17% stake in Hyundai Oilbank, a subsidiary of the South Korean holding.
The investment, which includes an option to buy an additional 2.9%, is valued at $1.24 billion. The private oil refining company established in 1964 is expected to provide a dedicated outlet for Arabian crude oil to South Korea.
Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi, Saudi Aramco’s senior vice president of Downstream, said the oil giant is continuing to strengthen its position in the downstream sector. This acquisition, he said, demonstrates the company’s investment in the highly complex refining sector in Asia and its ongoing commitment to the region’s energy security and development as well as supporting its trading business.
The Daesan complex in South Korea, where Hyundai Oilbank’s major facilities are located, is a fully integrated refining plant, but one of the country’s smallest, with a processing capacity of 650,000 bbl/d. The company and its five subsidiaries are engaged in oil refining as well as production of base oil and petrochemicals. They also operate a network of gas stations.
AOC provides support services to Saudi Aramco and, through its investments and joint ventures, forms an integral part of the Saudi company’s oil, gas, and chemicals activities.