The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) recently received the first-ever cargo of Arabian crude oil at its flagship Huizhou refinery in South Chinaâ€™s Guangdong Province.
The original 240,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery has recently completed a 200,000 bpd expansion that is configured to process sour Arab Gulf grades, and Aramcoâ€™s Arab Medium crude oil is a preferred choice for the plantâ€™s baseload.
CNOOC is the last of Chinaâ€™s three large national oil companies to join Saudi Aramcoâ€™s customer family. Prior to its expansion, Huizhou had no need for imported sour crudes since it mostly processed domestic oil from CNOOCâ€™s own offshore fields. Entrusted by the government to be the sole developer of Chinaâ€™s offshore upstream, CNOOC in 2016 produced about 1.1 million bpd of crude oil, as well as 1.3 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, and its total refining capacity stood at 1.2 million bpd.
The vesselâ€™s arrival at the Huizhou terminal was celebrated by an Aramco Asia delegation together with representatives from CNOOC upper management.
The groundwork for this successful delivery was laid through an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) lon future crude supply and downstream cooperation last year. The MoU came in the context of intergovernmental efforts to further energy cooperation and forge closer synergies between Saudi Vision 2030 and Chinaâ€™s â€œBelt and Roadâ€ initiative.
Nabil A. Al-Nuaim, president and CEO of Aramco Asia, welcomed the news of CNOOCâ€™s first Arabian crude oil arrival, noting: â€œThe new crude sales agreement with CNOOC highlights that China is at the front and center of our downstream strategy and that we continue to be Chinaâ€™s most reliable supplier. Aramco Asia will continue to support Chinese and other Asian refiners to have access to reliable Saudi crude.â€
Expanding the companyâ€™s market share in China is an important strategic target, for which new crude sales agreements such as the Huizhou supply make a vital contribution. By fostering strong relationships with a diverse customer base, Aramco continues to be well positioned to play an important role in meeting Chinaâ€™s fast growing oil demand.
Mushabab Al-Qahtani (center, back row), director of the Aramco Asia Marketing Department, and Yao Jun, deputy GM of CNOOC Petrochemical Import & Export Co., join team members for a group photo following the arrival of CNOOCâ€™s first Arabian crude oil cargo at the Huizhou Refinery in South Chinaâ€™s Guangdong Province.