Saudi Aramco is committed to long-term energy investments in China, and as the world’s largest oil producer, the company is determined to reduce its environmental impact, Aramco CEO Amin al-Nasser said.
Speaking at the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) in China, Nasser stated that Aramco is building an “energy belt” between Saudi Arabia and China to meet the demand of energy consumers in Asia.
“We are building an energy bridge between Saudi Arabia and China that not only meets China’s growing needs for energy, but also the petrochemical products required for most industrial processes.”
Nasser also said that Aramco needs to help concerned parties realize that oil and gas will remain vital to world energy for decades to come. “We need to reassure them with our own long-term investments that the energy belt we have always provided is one they can continue to rely on.”
Nasser explained that Aramco is determined to use technology to reduce environmental impact.
He noted that Aramco is investing in its international gas business, reducing methane emissions via a zero-flaring program, developing efficient engines and fuels and shortening the conventional value chain by turning more crude oil directly into chemicals.
Earlier, Aramco tweeted that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang acknowledges the company’s investment plans in “Liaoning province & Zhejiang. Emphasizing the strong economic ties between China and Saudi Arabia.”
In November, Nasser announced that Aramco’s gas expansion strategy needs $150 billion over the next decade as the company plans to increase production and become a gas exporter later on.
Aramco continues its program of exploration for traditional and non-conventional gas and its production to feed fast-growing industries and free more crude for export or conversion to chemicals.
Aramco is a key investor in China’s energy sector, and during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to China last February, Aramco signed several business agreements with Chinese energy entities.
The company agreed to form a joint venture with NORINCO Group and Panjin Sincen to develop a fully integrated refining and petrochemical complex, located in the city of Panjin in China’s Liaoning province.
It also signed two agreements to acquire a nine percent stake in Zhejiang Petrochemical’s 800,000 barrels per day integrated refinery and petrochemical complex, located in the city of Zhoushan.
Saudi Arabia was China’s biggest crude oil supplier in February, according to data of the general administration of Chinese customs.
While in Beijing, Nasser attended the China Development Forum (CDF), an annual business gathering for China’s senior leadership and representatives from leading businesses, international organizations, and scholars from China and the world.
During his speech, Nasser asserted that since the Forum first met 20 years ago, China’s expanded role in the global economy has been of “great benefit” to the world.
China is at another milestone moment with the Belt and Road Initiative, stated Nasser, indicating that having adequate, reliable, affordable and clean energy will be critical to the continued development of China and the broader global economy.
“I believe that a pragmatic mix of cleaner oil and gas and the new and evolving energy sources will help achieve both of China’s cleaner energy and economic goals.”
Nasser informed the audience that Aramco is ready to play a leading role as part of this strategic effort and make more investments, including in energy-related infrastructure, to ensure China – as well as all the Belt and Road partner countries, “have access to reliable long-term energy supplies.”