S-Oil Not for Sale, Says Aramco


Saudi Aramco this week denied news reports that it is considering a deal to sell part of its stake in S-Oil Corp. to a South Korean conglomerate. An Aramco spokesman told Lube Report that Saudi Arabias national oil company is retaining its 35 percent share of S-Oil, South Koreas third-largest refiner and the worlds second-largest supplier of Group III base oils.

Saudi Aramco is not selling any of its stake in S-Oil, said Jamal Khiery, a spokesman in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Korean newspapers reported earlier this month that Aramco and Lotte Group were discussing a possible deal that called for Lotte to buy a 10 percent stake in S-Oil from Aramco in exchange for a parcel of land near S-Oils oil refinery in Onsan, South Korea. According to the reports, the companies would build another refinery on the site.

A Dec. 3 article in the Korean Herald also quoted unidentified sources as saying that Aramco had recently been shopping its entire stake in S-Oil. An S-Oil spokesman, P.J. Kim, told Lube Report yesterday that the information had come from one of S-Oils competitors and was unfounded.

S-Oil is a publicly traded company and Aramco is its largest shareholder. The Onsan refinery includes a base oil plant with daily capacity to make 24,500 barrels, including 9,000 b/d of Group III stocks.

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