Cleaner Saudi Yanbu refinery back online

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Saudi Aramco’s 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) Yanbu refinery has come back online after nearly two-month long maintenance, trading sources said on Friday.

Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery Company (SAMREF), an equal join tventure between Aramco and U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil had shut the refinery in early March to bring a new cleaner fuel project online.

Most of the units were back online, traders said.

“The secondary units will take a few more days to come back online. It’s been a long turnaround and it’s normal for the refinery to eventually come back up,” said one trader.

The company’s spokesman could not be reached for comment.

There has been a shift in Middle Eastern refineries to produce cleaner fuel as they are looking to target export markets.

SAMREF’s cleaner fuel project will be brought online by the end of the year but initial work was completed during the shutdown, traders said.

“They capitalized on the turnaround to do the new project’s piping and valve connections,” another trader said.

The cost of the project to reduce sulphur from diesel and gasoline was estimated to cost $2.5 billion, sources have said.

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