RefineryScanner Shows Saudi Aramco Yanbu Refinery Undergoing Maintenance

RefineryScanner monitors refineries globally for maintenance and shutdown activity, providing valuable insight for oil commodity trading. One of the refineries monitored is the Saudi Aramco Yanbu Refinery in Saudi Arabia, which was observed undergoing maintenance in early 2019.


In the dynamic Oil and Gas market insights on refinery shutdowns or upcoming events are crucial to predict their implications on crude capacity. Due to the remote location of many refineries satellite imagery can help monitoring and analysis of activities.


RefineryScanner combines weekly refreshed satellite imagery with advanced analytics to indicate shutdowns up to six weeks ahead of the market, as well as drawing implications on crude capacity.

Combining this data with global downstream analytics enables users to draw more accurate insights on commodity flows.

RefineryScanner helps to remove the significant time lag and inaccuracy of vague refinery shutdown announcements through transparent, fact-based data.

RefineryScanner identified first signs of an upcoming shutdown at the Saudi Aramco Yanbu refinery on 3rd February 2019, five weeks before the announced shutdown date.

Laptop monitors saudi aramco yanbu refinery case study

Activities Observed:

  • 4th January:
    No activity observed.
  • 3rd February:
    Build-up of materials and equipment in designated set-up zones, and set up of portable buildings.
  • 19th February: Movement of cranes and lift vehicles, increase in materials, equipment and number of portable buildings visible near the Crude Distillation Unit (CDU).
  • 14th March: Initiation of shutdown confirmed through observations of an active crane on the CDU, and multiple smaller cranes and lift vehicles detected on secondary Units.
  • 5th April: Maintenance activity ending with reduced number of portable buildings, active cranes and material in storage areas visible.
  • 14th March - 18th April 2019:
    RefineryScanner identified that the refinery underwent a complete shutdown in this period.

The interactive image shows a comparison between 4th January where no shutdown activity was identified, and 14th March where activity including cranes, porta-cabins and vehicles indicated shutdown.


Monitors Saudi Aramco Yanbu Refinery case study


Users can draw more accurate insights on related commodity flows and trade with more confidence.

  • Unit-Level: Provided more detailed observations of the specific refining Units that underwent maintenance.
  • Actionable: Users were able to better quantify the impact of the shutdown on crude demand and refined product supply.


  • Timely: Thanks to advanced activity-monitoring algorithms, evidence of shutdown activity was highlighted five weeks before the announced shutdown date.
  • Unbiased: Enabled users to trade with more confidence by providing intelligence independent of market rumours

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