(EnergyAsia, November 16 2012, Friday) — Saudi Arabian Oil Co, or Aramco, has opened a new head office in Beijing as it continues to expand ties with the world’s second largest oil consumer.

Aramco Asia, a wholly owned subsidiary of the world’s largest oil company according to a PIW ranking, adds to the company’s two existing branch offices in Shanghai and Xiamen.

The new office will provide services of crude oil and chemicals marketing, joint venture coordination, procurement, inspection, research and development, project management, human resources development and communications in the region.

At Aramco Asia’s inauguration ceremony on Monday, November 12, Abdulrahman F. Al-Wuhaib, Aramco’s senior vice president (downstream), said:

“Our new Asia office here in Beijing will be a hub for facilitating our joint activities in general and in particular investment and other business opportunities arising from the capital projects in Saudi Arabia and Asia. The kingdom is ‘open for business’ for Chinese and other Asian companies, as there are abundant opportunities across many sectors.”

Dawood M. Dawood, Aramco’s vice president for Marketing, Supply and Joint Venture Coordination (MSJVC), who led in establishing Aramco Asia, said:

“Aramco Asia brings together our business operations in this fast-growing region under one entity and be unified in carrying out Saudi Aramco’s vision and strategy for Asia. Aramco Asia will play an important role and be part of the building blocks that will contribute to Saudi Aramco’s corporate transformation to become a global leader in energy and chemicals by 2020.”

More than 300 guests including Chinese government officials, foreign diplomats, senior executives of energy companies, energy experts and researchers from Chinese academia and institutions attended the event.

Aramco is already invested in China, namely through two joint ventures with Sinopec Group and ExxonMobil Corp in Fujian province. It holds a 22.5% stake in retail oil products distributor Sinopec SenMei Petroleum Company, and a 25% stake in the Fujian Refining & Petrochemical Company (FRPC), which operates a 240,000 b/d refinery, which also counts province of Fuji as a 25% partner.

Aramco and Sinopec are also jointly developing a 400,000 b/d refinery in Yanbu on the Saudi Red Sea coast.