Saudi Aramco's Commitment to the Chinese Market

Saudi Aramco, as a strategic partner to the World Economic Forum, is participating in this year’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China. Between September 9 and 11, this event convenes the next generation of fast-growing enterprises shaping the future of business and society, and leaders from major multinationals as well as government, media, academia and civil society. Our Saudi Aramco delegation will participate on transformational technologies, digital disruption, economic divergence, regional rebalancing and environmental boundaries sessions. Be in the lookout for the session “The Innovation Playbook” where our Chief Technology Officer, Ahmad Khowaiter, will be in a panel discussing how do innovative businesses maintain their edge. The session will be streamed on our website at 4:00 AM (AST) / 9:00 AM (CST). Reliable Supplier Saudi Aramco is strongly committed to maintaining its global position as a highly reliable oil supplier. The company plans to invest about $40 billion annually over the coming decade to strengthen its upstream and downstream businesses; these investments will help sustain the company’s oil production capability at 12 million barrels per day (MMBD), as well as a spare production capacity in the range of 2 MMBD, which offers the oil market and large consumers like China insurance against unforeseen circumstances. Saudi Aramco has 261.1 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil and condensate reserves. In 2014, eight new oil and gas fields were discovered – the highest number for one year in the company’s history -- bringing our total to 129. The company’s average daily crude oil production in 2014 was 9.5 million barrels, equivalent to annual production of 3.5 billion barrels. Leader in Technology Technology likewise plays a major role in sustaining our position. We believe that investing in innovation is vital to solving global energy challenges and also to stimulating a vibrant, knowledge-based economy in Saudi Arabia. Today, Saudi Aramco maintains a large portfolio addressing the whole value chain of our oil, petrochemicals, and energy businesses. It features technologies that enable greater efficiency in oil and gas resource discovery and recovery, as well as those supporting our growing petrochemicals business and improving the operational efficiencies of our expanding refineries network. Research addressing oil market sustainability is also actively pursued by Saudi Aramco. Exploration Technology To guide future exploration work, Saudi Aramco has completed acquisition of essential onshore and offshore seismic data across Saudi Arabia. Our scientists continue research on advanced exploration technologies, such as the use of autonomous underwater vehicles to gather seismic data in shallow waters. A key aim for the longer term is reducing seismic acquisition cost and time, while improving subsurface image fidelity and accuracy. Some solutions promise to cut cost by 50 percent, and shorten time four-fold. Saudi Aramco is a global leader in reservoir modeling and simulation technology; our advanced reservoir modeling technology is capable of processing multibillion cell grids. We are actively developing next-generation technology capable of combining 500 million years of history to simulate oil formation and migration across a 10-billion-cell representation of the entire Arabian Peninsula. Importance of Transport Market As the world quickly moves toward a new energy era with greater emphasis on sustainability and the environment, we continue to pursue new research and development frontiers to address evolving technology needs and novel solutions. A good example is the sizable R&D effort Saudi Aramco is putting into improving oil-use efficiency in the transportation sector, which currently accounts for one fifth of the world's primary energy. By 2040, the number of vehicles around the globe is expected to double – and the amount of energy needed to power this sector is anticipated to increase by 30 to 40 percent. We’re committed to meet the great challenge of managing this growth while minimizing the sector’s environmental impact. Our R&D teams in Dhahran, Paris and Detroit are working on new fuel formulations and combustion modes in internal combustion engines. For instance, a new engine concept called Gasoline Compression Ignition using low-octane gasoline-like fuels will be as efficient as modern diesel engines, meet future emissions requirements, have a simpler and less-costly design, and use less-processed fuels like naphtha which under the current technology trajectory are expected to be in excess supply. Growing Global Research Footprint Breakthroughs that truly move our company and the energy industry forward require the best ideas, people, and partners around the world. Over the past few years, we have created a global research network in targeted innovation hubs in the United States, Europe, and Asia that is fully aligned and integrated with our central R&D facilities and core businesses. As a result, our scientific research continues literally around the clock. Our research centers not only bring us closer to partners and collaborators, they give us access to skill and talent pools vital to cutting-edge research. Over the past five years, our global R&D staff has more than doubled. Over 1100 scientists and engineers work now for the Saudi Aramco technology program, and more than a third hold terminal degrees (e.g., Ph.D.) in their fields. Environmental Sustainability Another hallmark of our commitment is Saudi Aramco’s great emphasis on minimizing our operational impact on environmental and human health. We have reduced our CO2 footprint six-fold over the last four decades through a number of measures extending across our different operations. Examples include reducing gas discharge from production wells by installing zero-discharge technologies; reducing gas flaring from refineries and gas plants; and adopting highly efficient power generation systems to support energy-intensive operations. The volume of flared gas was reduced by around 10 billion standard cubic feet in 2014 compared to 2013, enabling the company to maintain the volume of flared gas well below 1 percent of total raw gas production for the third consecutive year. These exceptional efforts made Saudi Aramco a global leader in flare minimization and earned us the World Bank Award of Excellence in 2012. Saudi Aramco is also a world leader in maximizing efficiency benefits of combined steam and power generation. The introduction of the Manifa cogeneration plant in 2014, combined with the Abqaiq cogeneration plant’s enhanced performance, resulted in significant gas savings of 181 million standard cubic feet per day. Commitment to Chinese Market China is one of Saudi Aramco’s most strategically important markets. We foresee supplying up to a quarter of all our oil exports to China; therefore, we are committed to a long-term relationship with Chinese energy companies both in China and Saudi Arabia. In 2007, Aramco worked with Sinopec, ExxonMobil and the Fujian government to forge China’s first integrated refining, petrochemicals manufacturing, and marketing project in Fujian province. We anticipate broader alliances in China covering the entire downstream value chain. In Saudi Arabia, we also enjoy close cooperation with Chinese companies like Sinopec International Petroleum Services in the areas of upstream drilling and seismology. This close partnership promotes further energy trade between us and our Chinese partners. To serve our Chinese crude-oil clients better and emphasize our role as China’s most reliable crude oil supplier, we have expanded our Asian headquarters in Beijing and branch offices in Shanghai and Xiamen. This past April, Saudi Aramco unveiled the Beijing Research Center, the latest in our network and our first in the Asia-Pacific region. The 4,400-square-meter center aims to enhance Saudi Aramco’s research capabilities, and more importantly, brings greater potential to already-vibrant bilateral technology collaboration with our partners in China. Appreciating the importance of China’s growing transport market, we increasingly seek to expand our R&D engagement and collaboration with China’s research community and automotive industry. The aim here is to promote further development of internal combustion engines, as well as to explore new fuels that enable next-generation technologies. Saudi Aramco is proud to be China’s top crude oil supplier, and we are strongly committed to serving and supporting this strategic market for decades to come.