Aramco discussing globalization strategy

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, May 25
-- Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company in terms of oil reserves and production, is discussing a strategy to extend its operations into more than 50 countries in the next 10-20 years.

“We want to transform Saudi Aramco from a leading oil and gas company into a fully integrated, truly global energy and chemicals enterprise with extensive operations in the kingdom and around the globe,” said Aramco President and Chief Executive Officer Khalid A. Al-Falih in an interview posted on the company’s web site.

Aramco operates outside Saudi Arabia now mainly through downstream joint ventures and interests. The strategy described by Al-Falih, although lacking details, sounded more like those that have made national oil companies of other countries strong competitors for global oil and gas investment opportunities.

As the holder of reserves estimated at 260 billion bbl of crude oil and condensate and 275 tcf of natural gas, and with production capacity of 12 million b/d, Aramco has formidable financial strength.

Al-Falih said an initiative called 2020 Strategic Intent envisions that, “In 2020, Saudi Aramco is the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals company, focused on maximizing its income, facilitating the sustainable and diversified expansion of the kingdom’s economy, and enabling a globally competitive and vibrant Saudi energy sector.”

Aramco said the intent is to become “a truly global company with operations in over 50 countries.” Describing itself as “a consumer of the best technology” now, it said it will become “an innovator and producer of leading technologies.

Long an oil and gas production powerhouse, Aramco entered the petrochemicals business in 2009 with start-up of the Petro Rabigh petrochemical complex integrated with an upgraded 400,000 b/d refinery at Rabigh on the Red Sea. Petro Rabigh, a joint venture with Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd., can produce 1.3 million tonnes/year of ethylene and 900,000 tonnes/year of propylene.

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