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Saudi Aramco's shifting strategy

Saudi Aramco has big plans for expanding its refining capacity and it won’t let oil-price volatility stand in the way, Abdulaziz Judaimi, the company's downstream vice president, says

PE: Moving downstream is historically considered a smart move in an era of low-priced oil. It allows integrated companies to capture more value from oil as a commodity. Does Saudi Aramco believe we're in a long period of relatively low-priced oil markets? AJ: During market downturns, upstream earnings suffer significantly more than downstream businesses do. In fact, downstream margins and earnings usually benefit from low-priced crude feedstock. So, integrated companies, with both upstream and downstream units, normally perform better over the long-term, and are better positioned to negotiate soft market patches. Saudi Aramco's downstream expansion strategy also reflects the above factors.

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