Asharq Al-awsat English https://aawsat.com/english Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper http://feedly.com/icon.svg

Davos: Aramco Eyes Multi-Billion-Dollar US Gas Acquisitions

Davos: Aramco Eyes Multi-Billion-Dollar US Gas Acquisitions

Wednesday, 23 January, 2019 - 11:00
Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Aramco, Amin Nasser speaks during an interview with Reuters in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, December 13, 2017.
Davos - Asharq Al-Awsat
Saudi Aramco, the world’s top oil producer, is looking to acquire natural gas assets in the United States and is willing to spend “billions of dollars” there as it aims to become a global gas player, Amin Nasser, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Aramco, said Tuesday.

Nasser told Reuters in an interview that his company wants to increase its US investments. It already owns Motiva, the biggest US oil refinery.

“We have agreed to bring an additional USD10 billion in the Motiva refining complex,” said the chief executive, attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“We do have the appetite for additional investments in the United States. 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.”

Aramco’s gas expansion strategy needs USD150 billion of investment over the next decade as the company plans to increase output and later become a gas exporter, Nasser said in November.

Aramco is pushing ahead with its conventional and unconventional gas exploration and production program to feed its fast-growing industries, freeing up more crude oil to export or turn into chemicals.

Investing in the US gas and petrochemical sector has become “very lucrative” due to the large availability of ethane resources, Nasser said. “In gas we will be one of the main global players,” he added.

Aramco is a major gas player but much of its production is used domestically. The firm plans to boost its gas production to 23 billion standard cubic feet (scf) per day over the next decade, from 14 billion scf now.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude oil exporter, wants to diversify its energy mix and increase the share of its gas capacity to 70 percent in the coming decade from around 50 percent now.

Aramco also aims to become a global leader in chemicals with plans to expand its refining operations and petrochemical output. The company is considering acquiring a strategic stake – up to 70 percent – in Saudi Arabia’s SABIC, the world’s fourth-largest petrochemicals maker.

“Since 2018, we have been preparing quarterly results. We will publish our financial results as part of the bond issuance process,” he said. “I can tell you that investors will like our results; 2017 was a good year and 2018 was even better. We are trying to close the transaction with SABIC soon.”

Editor Picks

Multimedia