Crude to chemicals

Technology development

Chemicals is the fastest growing crude oil demand sector. It is also the fastest growing segment of our business. So we’re partnering with some of the best companies in the industry to develop new, more efficient ways to convert crude oil into chemicals.

Our crude oil to chemicals (COTC) technologies will remove or streamline several conventional industrial processes, resulting in chemicals that are less expensive to produce and that have a lighter energy and carbon intensity.

Our partnership with SABIC

In November 2016, we signed a memorandum of understanding with SABIC to develop a fully integrated crude oil to chemicals (COTC) complex in Saudi Arabia.

This technology combines proprietary catalysts and process configurations to optimize the conditioning step of pyrolytic crude oil cracking. Initial results demonstrated higher chemical yields than originally estimated, suggesting greater potential to capture additional value.

The project aims to maximize chemical yields, transform and recycle byproducts, drive efficiencies of scale, optimize resources, and diversify the mix of petrochemical feedstock.

Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser at MoU signing for Crude to Chemical Projects with SABIC

“This project converges the commercial and strategic interests of both Saudi Aramco and SABIC, while reinforcing Saudi Aramco’s efforts to optimize the investment of our petroleum resources. COTC will also help expand our downstream portfolio, reducing our focus on the transportation sector and securing new and promising commercial opportunities.”

Amin Nasser – Saudi Aramco, President and CEO

The planned Saudi Aramco/SABIC COTC complex


expected commencement of operations


barrels of crude oil are expected to be processed per day

9 million

tons of chemicals and base oils to be produced

Our partnership with CB&I and Chevron Lummus Global

On January 18, 2018, Saudi Aramco signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with CB&I, a U.S.-based leading provider of technology and infrastructure for the energy industry, and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG), a joint venture between CB&I and Chevron U.S.A. Inc., and a leading process technology licensor.

The JDA kicked off the project to scale up and commercialize our Thermal Crude to Chemicals (TC2C™) technology. This innovative technology was pioneered at our Research & Development Center in order to enable higher chemicals yield than previously achievable. This innovation bypasses conventional refining steps by employing a proprietary direct conversion process. This represents significant breakthrough in the evolution of downstream technology as it completely converts crude oil into crackable steam cracker feed. TC2C is expected to improve our competiveness in the sector by driving down cost of production and improving return on investment. 

Saudi Aramco and Chevon leadership at the signing of Thermal Crude to Chemicals agreement

“Saudi Aramco is going beyond the quick wins and is instead prioritizing investments in groundbreaking R&D and technology. Today’s Joint Development Agreement with CB&I and CLG is a technological first which will position Saudi Aramco to maximize the value of each barrel of crude oil it produces in the near future.”

Amin Nasser – Saudi Aramco, President and CEO

The planned Saudi Aramco, CBI and CLG complex


expected commencement of operations

50% +

conversion rate