Interview: Saudi energy giant ready to participate in China's energy transition

  • World
  • Friday, 08 Dec 2023

RIYADH, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- China is committed to attaining carbon neutrality by 2060, and Aramco, or the Saudi Arabian Oil Group, is ready to work with China in the process of energy transition, Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani, president of Downstream business at the energy giant, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

"We're excited to be part of that journey by deploying technologies," Al Qahtani told Xinhua.

"As a company we have intensified efforts to further reduce carbon emissions, building on the fact that our upstream carbon intensity is already among the lowest in the industry," he said.

Moreover, the official mentioned that China's demand for Arabian crude oil is robust and growing.

"Arabian crude oil is very popular in China, and we sell significant amounts of crude oil as exports to China," he said. According to official figures from China, Saudi Arabia was China's biggest oil supplier in 2022, selling 87.5 million tons of crude oil during the year.

Meanwhile, the president said he thinks China's current high demand for electric vehicles will not likely impact the demand for crude oil from Saudi Arabia.

On the one hand, electric vehicles would contribute to the energy transition, which is happening throughout the world, and "we're moving with our own investments with the belief that there are markets for it," he said.

The company's investments in China mainly focus on the high convergent refineries, where more than 50 percent of crude oil is converted to chemicals, he noted. "So we are taking account of future shifts of demand."

Aramco's investments in China go back more than a decade and a half, and "we are in regular exchange with our partners throughout China, as there is always discussion for further growth and opportunities," Al Qahtani said. "China is full of opportunities."

Aramco is one of the largest integrated energy companies in the world, and its Downstream business focuses mainly on refining and petrochemicals, base oils and lubricants, retail operations, distribution, supply and trading, and power generation.

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