Riyadh — Oil giant Saudi Aramco is in talks with partners in China about further investments in the country, CEO Amin Nasser said on Monday.
“China is an important part of Aramco’s base,” Nasser told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Saudi Arabia.
“And we are currently in discussions with a number of our partners in China for more investment,” he said, declining to disclose the nature or size of potential investments.
Nasser said last year that Aramco expects opportunities for further investment in downstream projects in China – the world’s biggest importer of crude oil – to help the country meet its needs for heavy transport and chemicals, as well as lubricants and non-metallic materials.
He told the conference on Monday that while oil demand globally is close to reaching pre-pandemic levels, investment in the sector is inadequate to sustain global supplies in the short to medium term.
Aramco is working on boosting its maximum sustained capacity to 13 million barrels per day by 2027, Nasser told reporters, from 12 million bpd currently.
“It will be a gradual build from ‘25 to ‘27,” he said.
The company will allocate more capital for investments, including to boost maximum sustained capacity and gas supply.
“We will have, very soon, an earnings call after we announce our numbers, and we will be explaining more about what we are doing,” he said, responding to a question on whether Aramco would use rising income due to higher oil prices on capital expenditure or dividends.
“But definitely, more capital allocation for our investment,” he said.
Nasser said total global investment in the oil and gas sector has halved since 2014 to $350 billion.
“You’ve seen what happened in Europe right now and parts of Asia in terms of energy prices going very high, impacting customers all over the world,” he said.
“This is mainly because of the strategies and policies that curtailed investment in certain sectors … only advocated and supported renewables and alternatives without reaching the point of realisation that you need to support all energy sources over the long-term in order to ensure that there is adequate supply to support healthy growth.”
Aramco completed the world’s largest initial public offering in late 2019, raising $29.4 billion on the Riyadh bourse.
Saudi officials have previously raised the possibility of selling more shares in Aramco.
Responding to a question on whether further shares of Aramco would be sold in Saudi Arabia or abroad, Nasser said: “This is a government decision when the major shareholder to decide if they would like to list more of Saudi Aramco.”
- Reuters (Reporting by Mohamed Benmansour in Riyadh, Ahmed Shakeel and Lina Najem in Dubai; Writing by Yousef Saba; editing by Jason Neely and S)
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