September 5, 2018 / 4:44 AM / 2 months ago

Saudi Aramco to hold joint event with S.Korea's S-Oil at big industry conference

* JV partners to combine reception at APPEC this month

* Part of better integration between both companies -sources

* Total, Nigeria to launch new crude during APPEC

By Jessica Jaganathan

SINGAPORE, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Aramco is teaming up with South Korean refiner S-Oil Corp for a joint reception at this year’s Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC) in Singapore, according to two industry sources.

“Having two separate receptions is quite redundant, and considering that most of the guests overlap it makes more sense to co-host the party,” said one source with direct knowledge of the matter who declined to be named.

Aramco became the single largest shareholder of S-Oil in January 2015, part of its drive to expand its footprint in the downstream petroleum sector and establish commercial offices in global oil trading hubs like Singapore.

Neither company responded to requests for comment.

Last year, S-Oil and Aramco hosted separate APPEC events. This year’s joint reception will be held at the Ritz Carlton hotel on Sept. 25, the second day of the conference.

Aramco traditionally sells most its crude oil under long-term deals with fixed monthly volumes and prices, but the company is in a drive to become more commercially minded, and plans to gradually increase the amount of crude and refined products it freely trades. (Link: reut.rs/2PxeyoQ)

Aramco’s trading office in Singapore, which opened in 2015 but only stepped up hiring in 2017, is its first overseas trading operation. The Singapore office’s responsibility includes handling physical and derivatives oil trading for its joint venture operations in Asia, which include S-Oil and also Japan’s Showa Shell, said a second source.

S-Oil is South Korea’s third-biggest refiner, selling fuels like gasoline, diesel or jet fuel globally. Its main supplier of feedstock crude oil is Saudi Aramco.

Singapore’s APPEC, which this year takes place from Sept. 24-26, is one of Asia’s biggest annual petroleum industry gatherings, during which producers, refiners and merchants sign and renew supply deals and exchange information.

In one such event, APPEC will also host a reception by French oil major Total, Nigerian National Petroleum Corp and their project partners to launch Egina crude, according to a copy of an invitation seen by Reuters.

The Egina field in Nigeria is expected to start production in December. (Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Henning Gloystein and Tom Hogue)

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