Saudi Aramco has today renewed its commitment to long-term investment plans in oil and gas during the global financial crisis, which has dampened demand for sources of energy. “Despite the difficulty in the current global economic climate and challenges facing the energy sector, the kingdom will continue its long-term investments to expand oil and gas sectors,” Chief Executive Khalid al-Falih said in a statement.
The investments would “shore up both domestic and international energy supplies”, he said. Aramco would soon sign a “memorandum of understanding” with Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical to develop a second phase of the PetroRabigh complex, Falih said. He also cited Aramco’s plan to spend 100 billion riyals ($26.67 billion) in a petrochemicals complex at Ras Tanura in partnership with Dow Chemical. Falih made the remarks at a conference in the Eastern province, Aramco said.
The global economic slowdown was an opportunity to “formulate future investment strategies and prepare for the upcoming phases of economic expansion”, Falih added.
Saudi Arabia has not made public any further plans to boost capacity beyond a programme ending this year to take it to 12.5 million barrels per day, but it has outlined how it could reach 15 million bpd in the future.
Earlier this week, a Saudi newspaper reported that the state firm would keep spending on oil and gas projects within the kingdom through 2014 at about $60 billion, which would be $10 billion cheaper than the last plan coming to completion in June.