Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco) through its wholly owned Saudi Refining Inc. (SRI) subsidiary and Royal Dutch Shell (Shell), through its U.S. downstream affiliate, recently announced that they have signed a non-binding letter of intent to divide the assets of Motiva Enterprises. The Motiva joint venture was formed in 1998 and has operated as a 50/50 refining and marketing enterprise between the parties since 2002.

In the proposed division of assets, SRI will retain the Motiva name, assume sole ownership of the refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, retain 26 distribution terminals and 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. Shell will assume sole ownership of the refinery in Norco, Louisiana, the refinery in Convent, Louisiana, nine distribution terminals, and Shell-branded markets in Florida, Louisiana and the Northeastern region.

"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," said Abdulrahman F. Al-Wuhaib, Saudi Aramco senior vice president. "However, it is now time for the partners to pursue their independent downstream goals."

Under the terms of the letter of intent, the partners will evaluate options and select an optimal deal structure with the objective of formalizing a definitive agreement to divide and transfer Motiva's assets, liabilities and employees between the companies.  

For more information, visit www.saudiaramco.com.