Saudi Aramco plans to enter the Kingdom’s retail market by setting up gas stations fully owned by the company, the Arab News reported Monday.

“We had already begun implementing this project by the end of last year,” the company said in its annual report.

No launch date has been announced.

“The move comes as part of the Saudi oil giant’s strategy to become an integrated energy company that enters into more business ventures, including petrochemicals and the sales of refined products,” the Arab News said.

A new Aramco-owned company has a government-issued license to build, operate and maintain service stations in selected areas.

The gas stations will include supermarkets and other services, the report said.

Shell and Mobil left Saudi Arabia’s retail market after suffering losses, according to Ahmed Al-Falih, deputy chairman of the National Committee for Gas Stations.

He said one of the two had paid more than $20 million for nine stations.

“Gas stations face problems in acquiring licensing and manpower,” he said.


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