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|24 September, 2018

Saudi Aramco Trading aims for 50% rise in oil trade volume in 2020

The company is also looking at building its capacity in trading liquefied natural gas

Image used for illustrative purpose. General view of the Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) facility in Saudi Aramco's Shaybah oilfield at the Empty Quarter in Saudi Arabia May 22, 2018.

Image used for illustrative purpose. General view of the Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) facility in Saudi Aramco's Shaybah oilfield at the Empty Quarter in Saudi Arabia May 22, 2018.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

SINGAPORE  - Saudi's Aramco Trading Company (ATC) expects to increase its oil trading volume to 6 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2020, 50 percent higher than current levels, the company's top official said on Monday.

"Currently ... we're at 4 million barrels per day and with expansion I think our target is 6 million barrels per day," President and Chief Executive Ibrahim Al-Buainain said at the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC).

About 50 percent of the 2.5 million bpd of oil products it trades currently are hedged, he said.

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The company is also looking at building its capacity in trading liquefied natural gas (LNG), using its Singapore office as a trading hub, Buainain said.

ATC plans to set up its European office in either Geneva or London and also aims to have an office in Fujairah to manage oil storage, he said.

In Singapore, Buainain said he expects the company's office to grow to 30 to 40 people within the next two years.

ATC also expected to benefit from a switch by ships to cleaner fuels in 2020 as mandated by the International Maritime Organization.

"The second-hand effect of the IMO is the oversupply of high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) which in our case is a positive because we are net short on fuel oil and that will help us in meeting our requirements (for HSFO) in power generation," Buainain said.

Buainain has headed the trading arm of Saudi Aramco since 2016.

ATC was set up in 2012 to market refined products, base oils and bulk petrochemicals. It started trading non-Saudi crude oil and refined products from its overseas refineries in the past years as the world's largest oil exporter seeks to optimise profits.

(Reporting by Florence Tan, Jessica Jaganathan, Roslan Khasawaneh and Koustav Samanta; editing by Richard Pullin) ((Florence.Tan@thomsonreuters.com; +65 6870 3497; Reuters Messaging: florence.tan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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