Houston — Saudi Aramco took the first steps to integrating a petrochemicals business into the US’s biggest oil refinery, which is operated by its subsidiary Motiva Enterprises. Aramco CEO Amin Nasser signed memoranda of understanding worth $8bn to $10bn with Honeywell UOP and TechnipFMC to study petrochemical production technology for use in a chemical plant the company is considering building at the Port Arthur refinery. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was winding up a two-week visit to the US, was present at the signing in Houston on Saturday, along with Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and US Energy Secretary Rick Perry. "These agreements signal our plans for expansion into petrochemicals," Motiva CEO Brian Coffman said. Aramco, which wants to develop its downstream business as the government prepares to sell up to 5% of the world’s largest oil firm in an initial public offering in 2018, wants to use oil as a major petrochemicals feedstock. Coffman said ...

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