The largest oil refinery in the United States, located in Port Arthur, Texas is now 100% controlled by Saudi Aramco. While the deal was first mentioned back in 2016, it was only recently finalized.
The massive oil corporation known as Saudi Aramco is entirely owned by the Saudi Arabian government. At one point in time, Aramco also owned 50% of Royal Dutch Shell, however, the companies had an unstable relationship which later caused Shell to part. CNN Money reported on Monday that their split had reached completion on Monday.
As a part of the deal, Aramco has been given complete ownership of 24 distribution terminals along with privileges which would also allow them to sell Shell gasoline and diesel fuel at a handful of South and Southeastern U.S states including Georgia, North Carolina, South Caroline, Virginia, Maryland, east Texas and most of Florida.
The facility which was recently purchased by the Saudis produces around 600,000 barrels of oil each day. Due to the deal, the Aramco would be able to amass one of its best customers (the U.S) before the previously scheduled date set for next year. Back in February alone, the U.S imported over 1.3 million barrels of Saudi crude oil per day, which would be a 32% increase from last year, based on the Energy Information Administration.
The agreement, which has been dubbed ‘The Gulf Coast refinery agreement’, was signed within 60 days after President Donald Trump had met with the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the United States White House.
“This meeting is considered a historical turning point in relations between both countries and which had passed through a period of divergence of views on many issues,” a senior adviser to Prince Mohammed said in a statement in March.
Shortly after the presidential election, President-Elect Donald Trump stated that he could prevent imports from Saudi Arabia, along with other Arabic nations if they refused to fight against terroristic group ISIS. At this time, many were perpetuating a rumor that President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were conspiring to take over various aspects of the Election. Later, in April, the President back-stepped and then warned the U.S Treasury Secretary that the largest Russian oil company, Rosenft could take over the Texas oil refinery. However, now the deal with Saudi Arabia has gone through, leaving many wondering about U.S intentions and relations.