Aramco is looking to invest in U.S. natural gas and is prepared to spend “billions” on acquisitions in the segment, the company’s chief executive Amin Nasser told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Aramco’s international gas team has been given an open platform to look at gas acquisitions along the whole supply chain. They have been given significant financial firepower – in the billions of dollars,” Nasser said after he noted Aramco will pour US$10 billion in fresh investments into its U.S. refinery, Motiva, which is the largest in the country.
The asset acquisition push into the United States is part of am ambitious US$150-billion natural gas expansion strategy over a period of ten years to 2030. As a result of the strategy, Aramco plans to become a net gas exporter.
It makes perfect sense to look for expansion opportunities in the United States in light of this strategy, and Nasser told Reuters as much, noting that the country had abundant ethane resources that made investments in the industry “very lucrative”, Reuters quotes him as saying. Related: Energy Transition Will Upend Geopolitics
Aramco currently produces 14 billion cu ft of natural gas daily and is the ninth largest producer of the fuel globally, behind the Netherlands and ahead of Algeria at number ten. However, most of this is consumed domestically, so there isn’t much left for exports. Aramco plans to change this by boosting local production to 23 billion cu ft daily by 2030. To this end, it will also boost its gas production capacity to 70 percent of the total, from 50 percent now.
Along with natural gas, Aramco is expanding into petrochemicals as well, committing tens of billions of dollars to various oil refining and petrochemicals production ventures around the world. As part of this drive, the company also plans to buy a 70-percent stake in Saudi petrochemicals major Sabic. To this end, it would need to borrow on international bond markets. Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Khalid al-Falih earlier this year said it is preparing for the issuance of a US$10-billion bond.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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