Home » Saudi Aramco: A detailed overview of business 

Saudi Aramco: A detailed overview of business 

Saudi Aramco: An Introduction

Headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (operating as Saudi Aramco) is the world’s largest integrated oil and gas company. Apart from hydrocarbon exploration, production, refining, distribution and shipping, the company also provides crude oil marketing services. It serves the global markets through its large network of offices, research and development centers, joint ventures and subsidiaries.

Saudi Aramco went public on the Saudi exchange on December 11, 2019. On its second day of public trading, the valuation of Saudi Aramco’s IPO surged to $2 trillion.

Saudi Aramco accounts for one-eighth of the daily oil production globally. In 2018, Saudi Aramco produced 13.6 million barrels per day (BPD) of oil equivalent including 10.3 million BPD of crude oil. Based on its refining capacity as of 31 December 2017, Saudi Aramco was the fourth largest integrated refiner in the world. The company has entered into partnerships with other leading oil producing companies of the world including Chevron, Sinopec, Exxon Mobil, and Total. In 2016, Chevron and Saudi Aramco entered into a five-year collaboration agreement to explore research and development projects of mutual interest. 

Company NameSaudi Aramco
Officially Established 1988
IndustryOil & Gas
HeadquartersDhahran, Saudi Arabia
President & CEOAmin H Nasser
Net Revenue 2018$355,940
Net Income 2018$111,071
Employees (2017)70,762 (Saudi Aramco & its wholly-owned subsidiaries)

Brief History of Saudi Aramco:

The origin of Saudi Aramco can be traced back to 1933 when Saudi Arabia and the Standard Oil Company of California (SOCAL) signed a concession agreement. By 1949, the company had hit oil production of 500,000 barrels per day (BPD). It was now known as ARAMCO (the Arabia American Oil Company). By 1962, the cumulative crude oil production of ARAMCO had reached 5 billion barrels. 

Saudi government bought a 25% interest in ARAMCO in 1973 and grew its stake to 60% in the next year. In 1980, the Saudi government’s interest in ARAMCO grew to 100%.

The Saudi Arabian Oil Company or Saudi Aramco, as we know it today was established officially in 1988 to take over all the responsibilities of ARAMCO. Al Naimi became the company’s first Saudi President and CEO.

Saudi Aramco’s transformation into an integrated oil company started in 1989 with a  joint venture between it and Texaco in the US which was called Star Enterprises. By 2017, Saudi Aramco acquired it fully and became the sole owner of North America’s largest single-site crude oil refinery at Port Arthur, Texas.

Saudi Aramco bought a 35% interest in the SsangYong Oil Refining Company (renamed S-Oil in 2000) in the Republic of Korea in 1991. Again, it bought a 40% interest in Petron Corporation, the largest crude oil refiner and marketer in the Philippines in 1994. 

In 1996, the company made more overseas investments in Europe and acquired a 50% stake in privately-held Greek refiner Motor Oil (Hellas) Corinth Refineries S.A., and its marketing affiliate, Avinoil Industrial Commercial and Maritime Oil Company, S.A.

Saudi Aramco built a state-of-the-art Research and Development Center (R&DC) in Dhahran for the scientists working for the company in 2000.

In 2010 it unveiled Giga Powers (the second generation of Powers simulation technology).

Saudi Aramco launched the Manifa project in 2013 and by July of the year, the project’s first milestone to produce 500,000 barrels of oil per day was achieved. By 2017, the Manifa project had reached the target of 900,000 barrels of oil per day. The Manifa oil field is a huge six-reservoir field, stretching 45km long and 18km wide, lying in less than 15 meters of water.

In 2017, the US trademark and patents office granted the company 230 patents.
In 2019, on December 11, the company listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), marking the successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Saudi Aramco.


Where energy is opportunity.

Saudi Aramco Mission Statement: 

Resilient Value Creation Through Crude Oil Cycles, Capturing Value Across Hydrocarbon Chain, Profitable Portfolio growth. (Saudi Aramco Corporate Overview, Sep, 2019)

Saudi Aramco Vision Statement:

“To Be The World’s Pre-eminent Integrated Energy and Chemicals Company, Operating In A Safe, Sustainable and Reliable Manner.”

Leading competitors of Saudi Aramco:

  • China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec Group) based in Beijing, China.
  • Royal Dutch Shell ( headquarters- the Hague, Netherlands).
  • China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) based in Beijing, China.
  • BP, based in London, United Kingdom.
  • Exxon Mobil based in the United States.
  • Chevron based in the United States.
  • Total S.A. based in France,
  • Lukoil (Russia)
  • Rosneft (Russia) (Leading oil companies

Saudi Aramco in global markets:

Saudi Aramco in Asia: 

The subsidiaries of Saudi Aramco are key players in the crude oil market of Asia. They are crude oil suppliers to India, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Its local offices in the Asian region together work under an aligned strategy and provide marketing and portfolio management services to Saudi Aramco and its partners.


Saudi Aramco has maintained a strong presence in the European oil markets also. The subsidiaries of Saudi Aramco have a wide network of offices in Europe. These offices provide a wide range of services including financial support, supply chain management, technical support services, and other administrative support services.


The America based subsidiaries of Suadi Aramco source goods and services and offer political and economic analysis for the region. They also arrange storage, transportation, and delivery of crude oil to refiners based in the United States. 

Saudi Aramco Global Office locations:

  • Beijing, China.
  • Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (headquarter)
  • Houston, USA
  • London, UK
  • Malaysia
  • New Delhi, India
  • NewYork, USA
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Singapore
  • The Hague, Netherlands
  • Tokyo, Japan 
  • Xiamen, China

 Saudi Aramco Global research centers and technology office locations:

Saudi Aramco has 11 research and development centers and technology offices.

  • Aberdeen, Scotland
  • Beijing, China
  • Boston, US
  • Daejeon, South Korea
  • Delft, The Netherlands
  • Detroit, US
  • Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
  • Houston, US
  • Moscow, Russia
  • Paris, France
  • Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

Refining and chemicals joint ventures, and listed subsidiaries of Saudi Aramco:

  • Arlanxeo a leading synthetic rubber company, established in 2016 is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco)
  • FREP or Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited is a joint venture between FPCL, ExxonMobil Asia and Saudi Aramco Asia where Saudi Aramco owns a 25% stake. 
  • Petro Rabigh was founded in 2005 as a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical. The plant is valued at $10 billion of which 25% is funded by the public and rest equally by the two founder companies.
  • PRefChem: Joint venture between PETRONAS of Malaysia and Saudi Aramco.
  • SADARA: SADARA Chemical Company is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Dow chemicals company.
  • SAMREF: SAMREF is a joint venture between Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and Mobil Yanbu Refining Company Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation). Both partners have equal ownership in SAMREF.
  • SASREF: SASREF is an oil refinery located in Saudi Arabia and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco. It has a production capacity of 305,000 barrels per day.
  • SATORP: SATORP is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Total, which was established in June 2008. The refinery has a production capacity of 405,000  barrels per day.
  • Showa Shell: Saudi Aramco had a 14.96% stake in Showa Shell which merged with Idemitsu Kosan Co.
  • S-Oil Corporation: In January 2015, Saudi Aramco became the single largest shareholder of S-OIL with its acquisition of an S-OIL stake from Hanjin Group
  • Sinopec Senmei: Sinopec SenMei (Fujian) Petroleum Co. Ltd. (SSPC) is a joint venture of Sinopec Corp. (China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.), ExxonMobil China Petroleum & Petrochemical Co. Ltd. and Saudi Aramco Asia Co. Ltd. with an equity ratio of 55%, 22.5%, and 22.5% respectively. It has its headquarters in Fuzhou, China and started its business operations in 2007.
  • YASREF: Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company (YASREF) is a joint venture between China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) and Saudi Aramco. It is a world-class full conversion refinery that uses 400,000 barrels per day of Arabian crude oil for producing premium transportation fuels.



Saudi Aramco started producing commercial quantities of oil back in 1938. For more than 80 years, its access to largely conventional oil reserves and the application of industry-leading proprietary technologies have enabled Saudi Aramco to operate efficiently across high demand and high-profit product segments. Currently, the company produces five different grades of crude oil including  Arabian Heavy, Arabian Medium, Arabian Light, Arabian Extra Light, and Arabian Super Light.


Saudi Aramco has been capturing and using gas as an extra revenue stream beyond crude il since the 1970s. Saudi Arabia is the seventh-largest market of natural gas in the world and Saudi Aramco is the sole supplier of Natural gas to Saudi Arabia. Natural gas produced by Saudi Aramco is used to meet the energy demand of industries including steel, aluminum, and water desalination. Natural Gas is an efficient and cleaner energy alternative for all these activities. Over the ensure timely delivery of gas to the customers. Saudi Aramco’s Master GAs system is an extensive network of pipelines and processing facilities which connects its key gas-production sites with demand centers throughout Saudi Arabia. The company supplies Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) to customers throughout the world through its NGL export terminals. (Wasit, located at Jubail, is one of the largest Gas plants ever built by Saudi Aramco, which was brought onstream in 2015. This Gas plant was designed to process non-associated gas solely and reached its full capacity in 2016.)


Refined Products:

Retail fuels:

Base oils:


Saudi Aramco Leadership:

President & CEO: 

Amin H. Nasser is the president and chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco and also a member of its Board of Directors. He has been with Saudi Aramco for more than three decades and has held several more leadership positions previously including the senior vice president of Upstream.

Senior Vice President:

Nabeel A. Al Mansour is the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of the company since May 2017.

Senior Vice President, Upstream: 

Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani became the company’s Senior Vice President – Upstream in January 2016. His main responsibilities include exploration, petroleum engineering, drilling, oil and gas operations, unconventional resources and upstream research and development.

Senior Vice President of Downstream: 

Abdulaziz M. Al-Judaimi is the Senior Vice President of Downstream since 2017.

Senior Vice President of Technical services:

Ahmad A. Al Sa’adi is the ‘Senior Vice President of Technical Services’ of Saudi Aramco since January 2016.

Senior Vice President of operations and business services:

Muhammad M. Al-Saggaf is the senior vice president of operations and business services of Saudi Aramco since 2014.

Senior Vice President of Finance, Strategy, and Development:

Khalid H. Al-Dabbagh is the senior vice president of Finance, Strategy, and development of Saudi Aramco since September 2018.

Saudi Aramco Board of Directors:

Chairman: HE Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan is the chairman of the Saudi Aramco Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, and the Governor of the Public Investment Fund. Al-Rumayyan has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from King Faisal University (Hofuf, Saudi Arabia) and has completed the general management program at Harvard Business School.

Members of the Saudi Aramco Board of Directors:

HE Dr. Ibrahim A. Al-Assaf (Currently Minister of State of Saudi Arabia)
HE Mohammed A. Al-Jadaan (Currently Minister of Finance for Saudi Arabia)
HE Mohammad M. Al-Tuwaijri (Currently the Minister of Economics and Planning for Saudi Arabia)
HE Nabeel Mohamed Al-Amudi (previously Minister of Transport of Saudi Arabia)

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart (Vice Chairman of the UN Global Impact)

Mr. Andrew N. Liveris (Former Chairman and CEO of the Dow Chemical Company)
Mr. Andrew F.J. Gould (Chairman of the International Advisory Board at Boston Consulting Group Center for Energy Impact)
Ms. Lynn Laverty Elsenhans
Mr. Peter L. Cella
Mr. Amin H. Nasser (President and CEO Saudi Aramco since 2015)