Aramco Said to Name New Asia Head Amid OPEC’s Share Fight – Bloomberg

2 years ago Comments Off on Aramco Said to Name New Asia Head Amid OPEC’s Share Fight – Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia, the largest oil
exporter, is seeking to build crude sales and expand in Asia as
OPEC producers fight for market share in the U.S.

Ibrahim al-Buainain, formerly in charge of Saudi Arabian
Oil Co.’s global energy investments, was appointed head of Saudi
Aramco’s Asian operations, based in Beijing, according to three
people who asked not to be identified because they’re not
authorized to speak to the media. The company, known as Saudi
Aramco, didn’t respond immediately to an e-mail seeking comment
about the appointment.

Aramco Asia will become a holding company and run all of
Aramco’s ventures in the region, the people said. Global oil
slid into a bear market last month on speculation that
the biggest producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries were selling their crude for less than their
competitors to maintain market share. Saudi Arabia increased oil
prices for Asia next month while offering American buyers
another month of reductions.

The message from Saudi Arabia to Asia is: “We are here to
expand, and we are here to grow together,” Kamel al-Harami, an
independent oil-industry analyst and a former president of
state-owned Kuwait Petroleum International, said in a phone
interview today. “Under one leadership, Aramco now can talk to
Asian customers with one voice.”

China is the world’s biggest energy buyer and Saudi Arabia
shipped 68 percent of its crude exports to Asia and 19 percent
to the U.S. last year, data from the U.S. Energy Information
Administration show. Aramco sold 53.8 percent of its crude to
Asian customers, according to its 2013 annual review. Fellow
OPEC members, including Iraq and Kuwait, are looking to Asia as
well for expansion.

MIT History

Al-Buainain was in charge of Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures
LLC from its inception in 2012 to 2013, according to two of the
people. He also was director of new business development for
Aramco from 2009 to 2011, based in South Korea and Hong Kong,
and speaks Korean. He had executive management training at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S. before
returning to Saudi Arabia this year, they said.

Aramco plans $100 billion of investments to become the
world’s largest refiner with capacity to process 8 million to 10
million barrels a day of crude at home and abroad. The company
has refineries in South Korea and China and it’s in talks to add
other plants in China, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Aramco is targeting Asia for expansion as it starts to sell
chemicals from its Saudi Sadara plant, a joint venture with The
Dow Chemical Co., Aramco Chief Executive Officer Khalid al-Falih
said said in May in Bahrain.

“Aramco Asia fits very well into this strategy,” al-Harami said. “When you want to sell chemicals, you need to have
a single company that can reach all customers across the

To contact the reporter on this story:
Wael Mahdi in Manama at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Nayla Razzouk at
Claudia Carpenter, Bruce Stanley

Aramco Said to Name New Asia Head Amid OPEC’s Share Fight – Bloomberg}