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Saudi Aramco is likely to place a high priority on its Asian downstream portfolio
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Aramco back to petchems drawing board

The Saudi heavyweight’s international downstream expansion strategy will need another reboot

State-controlled oil behemoth Saudi Aramco has rarely felt the need to change course when plotting upstream expansion—given monopoly production from its extensive, low-cost reserves and significant price-setting power, even the Covid-19 pandemic applied only light brakes to its bullish plans. Its downstream strategy, by contrast, has long evolved in fits and starts, dependent at home and especially abroad on the whims of international partners, feedstock considerations and more diverse market dynamics. The late-November collapse of what would have been a landmark deal to acquire a 20pc stake in the oil-to-chemicals (OTC) unit of India’s Reliance Industries—owner of the globe’s biggest refin



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