Saudi Aramco, through its wholly owned Saudi Refining Inc. (SRI), and Royal Dutch Shell, through its US downstream affiliate, agreed on Thursday to divide the assets of its 50:50 joint venture Motiva Enterprises.
In the proposed division, SRI will retain the Motiva name, assume sole ownership of the Port Arthur, Texas refinery and retain 26 distribution terminals.
Aramco's affiliate will also have an exclusive license to use the Shell brand for gasoline and diesel sales in parts of Texas, the majority of the Mississippi Valley, the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic markets, the companies said in a statement.
Shell will assume sole ownership of the Norco, Louisiana refinery where Shell operates a chemicals plant, the Convent, Louisiana refinery, nine distribution terminals, and Shell branded markets in Florida, Louisiana and the Northeastern region.
“Motiva's performance has been transformed in the last two years. We propose to combine the assets we will retain from the joint venture with Shell’s other downstream assets in North America.
"This is consistent with both the group and downstream strategy to provide simpler and more highly integrated businesses which deliver increased cash and returns” said John Abbott, Shell downstream director.
Abdulrahman Al-Wuhaib, senior vice president of downstream at Saudi Aramco said: “Saudi Aramco subsidiaries and affiliates have had a presence in the U.S. for over 60 years, and the Motiva joint venture with Shell has served our downstream business objectives very well for many years.
"However, it is now time for the partners to pursue their independent downstream goals. The Port Arthur refinery will advance Saudi Aramco’s global downstream integration strategy through supply and trading, refining and fuels marketing, chemicals and base oils.
"Motiva’s employees will continue to be critical to fulfilling our future growth potential in the Americas, reinforcing our reliable customer service and supporting the communities where we operate."
Aramco and Shell are yet to formally divide and transfer Motiva’s assets, liabilities and employees between the companies. The companies said they would make a further joint announcement in due course.