The Wall Street Journal: Abu Dhabi jumps into Middle East oil-refining rush

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Abu Dhabi’s national oil company said Sunday it would spend $45 billion over the next five years to join other giant, state-run petroleum giants, like Saudi Aramco, in refining much of their own crude instead of just exporting it.

ADNOC, as the company is known, said it aims to create the world’s largest refining and petrochemicals complex about 150 miles west of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and one of the world’s top oil exporters.

The initiative allows Abu Dhabi to join an oil refining boom in the Middle East, where, until recent years, petroleum-rich countries simply pumped crude CLM8, -0.31% LCON8, -0.41%  and then exported it for processing elsewhere.

ADNOC follows Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Aramco, in building a refining empire.

Aramco has boosted its global refining capacity by more than a third to 5.4 million barrels a day, according to Scottish energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. The kingdom has commissioned an additional refinery in its southwest region that is set to come online in 2019. Kuwait also is planning a boost in its refining capacity though on a smaller scale.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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