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China’s Sinopec Chooses Aramco Gas Project Over Shell Singapore Refinery

China’s giant refiner Sinopec Corp. has said it will not acquire Shell Plc’s (NYSE:SHEL) refinery or petrochemical plant in Singapore but will instead invest in Saudi Aramco’s Jafurah natural gas project alongside TotalEnergies (NYSE:TTE). Sinopec engages in the oil and gas and chemical operations in Mainland China, Singapore, and internationally. The company explores and develops oil fields, produces crude oil and natural gas, processes and purifies crude oil, and manufactures and sells petroleum products. Last year, Sinopec was among several Chinese companies that delisted from the NYSE.

Saudi Aramco is currently in a "listening phase" on proposals from refining giant Sinopec and Total for a slice of a shale gas development project worth about $10 billion. Saudi Aramco has said it expects the giant gas field to produce about 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day by 2030, at a total cost of $24 billion.

Last year, Saudi Aramco announced that it was kicking off the biggest shale gas development outside of the United States. Saudi Aramco said it plans to spend $110 billion over the next couple of years to develop the Jafurah gas field, which is estimated to hold 200 trillion cubic feet of gas. The state-owned company hopes to start natural gas production from Jafurah in 2024 and reach 2.2 Bcf/d of sales gas by 2036 with an associated 425 million cubic feet per day of ethane. 

Aramco later announced that instead of chilling that gas and exporting it as LNG, it will instead use it to make much cleaner fuel: Blue hydrogen. The company said that its immediate plan was to produce enough natural gas for domestic use to stop burning oil in its power plants and convert the remainder into hydrogen. Blue hydrogen is made from natural gas either by Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) or Auto Thermal Reforming (ATR) with the CO2 generated captured and then stored. As the greenhouse gasses are captured, this mitigates the environmental impacts on the planet.

By Alex Kimani for Oilpirce.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on August 28 2023 said:
    The announcement by China’s giant refiner Sinopec Corp. that it won’l acquire Shell Plc’s refinery or petrochemical plant in Singapore but will instead invest in Saudi Aramco’s Jafurah natural gas project alongside TotalEnergies is very telling of the growing close relations between Saudi Arabia and China.

    Saudi Aramco expects the giant gas field to produce about 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day by 2030, at a total cost of $24 billion. But instead of exporting the gas as LNG, it intends to produce enough gas for domestic use to stop burning oil in its power plants and convert the remainder into hydrogen.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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