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Saudi Arabia Looks To Reduce Carbon Footprint Through Global Gas Venture

Al-Falih Aramco

Saudi Arabia, through its oil behemoth Saudi Aramco, is looking to decreasing its carbon footprint by creating a global gas business, Aramco’s CEO Amin Nasser said during an industry event in China on Tuesday.

The move is part of company’s strategy to boost efforts to grow its natural gas output, from both conventional and unconventional reserves. Saudi Aramco is already a top global oil producer but still lagging behind in gas production.

The oil giant is expanding its gas sector under an ambitious $150 billion investment plan over the next 10 years that will see production rise to 23 Bcf/d from its current 14 Bcf/d. Saudi Arabia aims to export as much as 3 billion cubic feet of gas per day by 2030.

Eventually, Aramco aims to use gas for 70% of its power generation. Any surplus gas would be exported, and China’s market is robust. Saudi Aramco said recently its natural gas reserves stood at 319.5 Tcf as of the end of 2017, up from a previously reported 302.3 Tcf.

As for China, Aramco is a major investor energy sector there and as of last month, was its biggest crude oil supplier, topping Russia.

In February, Saudi Aramco announced a joint venture with Chinese companies NORINCOP Group and Panjin Sincen, to develop a $10 billion refining/petrochemical complex in northeast China’s Liaoning Province.

Related: Texas Needs 11,000 More Miles Of Pipelines

The joint venture, agreed during Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman's two-day trip to China last month, is expected to be put into operation in 2024, and will promote the development of a fully integrated refining and petrochemical complex in Panjin.

With the capacity to refine 15 million tons of oil and produce 1.5 million tons of ethylene and 1.3 million tons of paraxylene a year, the annual sales revenue of the company is expected to exceed $14 billion.

According to the agreement, Saudi Aramco holds 35 percent of the joint venture, Norinco and Panjin Xincheng hold 36 percent and 29 percent respectively.

Also, Saudi Aramco also has considered making investments in liquefied natural gas projects in the Russian Arctic and the United States. According to some news report, the company is also eyeing investment in Australia, as of recently the world’s top exporter of LNG.

By Damir Kaletovic for Oilprice.com

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