UPDATE 1-S.Aramco, Exxon to shut most of Yanbu refinery in March

(Updates with details, quote)

DUBAI/KHOBAR, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery

Company (SAMREF) will shut most of the units at its 400,000

barrel per day (bpd) Yanbu refinery in March to bring a new

cleaner fuel project online, traders said on Monday.

The outage planned by the joint venture between state oil

company Saudi Aramco and U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil is

expected to start on March 10 and last for 45-50 days, traders

and an industry source said.

"Most of the refinery will be down for upgrade to bring the

clean fuel project on stream," one of the sources said.

The world's two largest energy companies have invested $2.5

billion to upgrade the facility on the Red Sea coast of Saudi

Arabia to produce cleaner fuels. The refinery mostly exports

gasoil and gasoline.

There has been a shift in the Middle Eastern refineries to

produce cleaner fuel as they want to target export markets.

Saudi Aramco Total Refinery and Petrochemicals Company

(SATORP), the joint venture that owns the Jubail refinery built

by Aramco and France's Total, will also produce

cleaner fuels.

OPEC member United Arab Emirates is also in the process of

expanding its Ruwais refinery with a view to producing ultra-low

sulphur diesel and sell to export markets.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is likely to start

offering 10 ppm diesel to its customers next year.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Reem Shamseddine; editing by

Daniel Fineren and Jason Neely)

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