VIRTUAL ENERGY FORUM

Energy reimagined at Aramco’s 2021 Virtual Energy Forum

Aramco executives share thoughts on environment and technology.

Energy reimagined at Aramco’s 2021 Virtual Energy Forum

Held Feb. 22, Aramco’s Virtual Energy Forum saw company leadership joined by specialists in the fields of medicine and energy studies to discuss how our industry is evolving in a new landscape.

The online forum saw remarks and a question-and-answer session from Aramco’s vice president of Marketing and Sales, Ahmed A. Al-Subaey, as well as its chief technology officer (CTO), Ahmad O. Al-Khowaiter. 

“The events of the past year demonstrated how resilient our industry is,” said Al-Subaey. “Not only did Aramco succeed in its day to day operations in 2020, it also completed one of the biggest deals in the industry, securing a majority share in SABIC.” 

Al-Subaey highlighted that Aramco is committed to environmental performance, with one of the lowest carbon intensive Upstream operations in the industry.

Al-Khowaiter built on this theme, highlighting that Aramco is well positioned to seize low carbon opportunities. 

From investing in technology that may reduce emissions, extracting greater value from in-Kingdom resources by diverting a growing percentage from combustion to materials, to investing in lower carbon products such as blue ammonia, Aramco plans to make a contribution to a lower carbon future. 

Opportunities from blue ammonia to carbon capture and beyond

Citing blue ammonia, Al-Khowaiter noted that it is a challenge to transport and was still a nascent market. “However, with the number of exciting projects in this area around the world, we believe it has the potential to impact the energy mix by 2030, and make dramatic inroads from 2040,” he said.

The CTO highlighted areas where the company is investing in reducing carbon, such as investing in carbon capture, flaring reductions and investments in co-generation plants. And with the technological strides the company — and the world — is making in increasing the cleanliness of fuels, Al-Khowaiter said that we will be using liquid hydrocarbons for many decades to come. 

In support of this prediction, he pointed to the impressive efficiency gains already made in engines and fuels since the 1970s, noting that the industry has a history of continuing to find new ways to deliver cleaner fuels to the world.

Reflecting on the past year, with the world struggling with COVID-19, Al-Subaey ended on a positive note, “I am an optimist, and it is human nature to seek growth.” 

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