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Saudi Aramco CEO Says Firm Will Have China’s Energy Security As Priority For 50 Years

Saudi Aramco CEO Says Firm Will Have China’s Energy Security As Priority For 50 Years
The Saudi Arabian oil giant Saudi Aramco believes that the new and existing energy sources would be developing parallel for some time and therefore the company will spend the next 50 years and beyond to ensure that the energy security of China stays at the top of its priority list.  
This was announced by the oil giant’s CEO Amin Nasser while speaking at the China Development Forum on Sunday.
For the first two months this year, Saudi Arabia held on to its position of being the largest oil exporter to China as the biggest oil exporter of the world exported 2.1 per cent more oil in terms of volume to China with a total export of 1.86 million barrels per day (bpd), showed data from China customs department.
Despite unprecedented levels of cut in oil production because of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to a deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to balance the supply of oil globally following the slump in demand because of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the Middle Eastern nation still manage to beat Russia to to remain as the top crude exporting nation to China.
“Ensuring the continuing security of China’s energy needs remains our highest priority – not just for the next five years but for the next 50 and beyond,” Nasser said in a video speech.
“We appreciate that sustainable energy solutions are crucial to a faster and smoother global energy transition ... But, realistically, this will take some time since there are few alternatives to oil in many areas.”
While there was a strong pickup in demand for crude from Asia, East Asia in particular, the demand for oil from China was very close to pre-pandemic levels, Nasser told an earnings call earlier on Sunday.
Aramco is also well-placed to help China in achieving its second centennial goal in energy transition in addition to being the top supplier of China’s energy needs, Nasser said.
In September this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping had announced the plans of the Chinese government to bring its carbon emissions to a peak before 2030 and then achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. It is expected that this shift in energy sources will result in a tectonic shift in the energy and manufacturing sectors of the country.
Nasser said that the Saudi state owned oil giant is also expecting to play a role and make further investments in China in downstream projects that will help the country to meet its energy needs for heavy transport and chemicals, as well as lubricants and non-metallic materials.
In the areas of development of cleaner engine fuel systems and technology development for converting crude to chemicals as well as in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the country’s existing energy sources, Aramco is also playing the role of a partner of China, he added.
“In fact, we have even bolder ambitions to expand and intensify our research collaboration with China,” Nasser said and added that the company would also participate in additional partnerships possibly in the area of so-called blue hydrogen, ammonia and carbon-capture technologies among others.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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