Saudi Aramco is planning to raise its domestic refining output capacity to 3.5 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2016 with the start-up of new plants. The current refining capacity is 2.26 million bpd. However, the addition of three refineries under construction, each with a capacity of 400,000 bpd, will bring the total to 3.5 million bpd. Saudi Arabia also operates in refineries in the U.S., South Korea, Japan and China. Aramco is considering the construction of new refineries in Vietnam, Indonesia and in China.
The domestic fuel consumption in the Kingdom has been booming on the back of a rising population and economic growth. Heavy government subsidies on fuel, making the price at the pump a fraction of what it is in the global markets, has exacerbated the problem.
[Editor's Comments: A number of oil experts have warned that if the level of fuel consumption in Saudi Arabia is not checked, the Kingdom might find itself devoting as much as half of its production to domestic consumption and thereby falling behind Iraq, a rising oil producer.]
Source: arabnews.com, October 25, 2011