Saudi Aramco and UK-Dutch oil major Shell plans divide the assets of their US-based oil refining joint venture Motiva Enterprises, the two companies said in a joint statement.

Motiva was formed in 1998 and has been operated as a 50:50 refining and marketing joint venture since 2002.

Aramco subsidiary Saudi Refining Incorporated (SRI) will retain the Motiva name and take sole ownership of the 600,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, and retain 26 distribution terminals.

SRI will also have exclusive licence to use the Shell brand for gasoline and diesel sales in Texas, the majority of Mississippi Valley and the Southeast and mid-Atlantic markets.

Shell will take sole ownership of the Norco and Convent refineries in Louisiana, nine distribution terminals, and Shell branded markets in Florida, Louisiana and the Northeastern region.

“The Port Arthur refinery will advance Saudi Aramco’s global downstream integration strategy through supply & trading, refining and fuels marketing, chemicals and base oils,” said Aramco’s senior vice president of downstream Abdulrahman al-Wuhaib

The two companies signed a non-binding letter of intent (LoI).

“Under the terms of the LOI, the partners will evaluate options and select an optimal deal structure with the objective of formalising a definitive agreement to divide and transfer Motiva Enterprises LLC’s assets, liabilities and employees between the companies,” the companies said in a statement.

Aramco and Shell also operate joint ventures in Saudi Arabia and Japan. Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery Company (Sasref) is a 50:50 refining joint venture at Jubail Industrial City in Saudi Arabia with a capacity of 305,000 b/d.