Shared vision: Aramco, China committed to growth, environment
Over the past 30 years, Aramco and China’s bilateral relations have grown far beyond the buying and selling of crude oil.
On Aug. 19, Mohammed Y. Al-Qahtani, senior vice president of Downstream, attended via video-link the China-Arab States Expo held in Yinchuan, in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
Opening his speech, Al-Qahtani thanked the organizers for the opportunity to share his thoughts during the continuing pandemic, noting that President Xi’s historic Belt and Road Initiative is a platform for building a global community and a shared future, offering Arab nations, in particular, a solution for common prosperity and development.
“Aramco is delighted to be a partner in progress through our long-standing trade and investment links with China and privileged to help advance our many shared strategic priorities,” he said.
“China’s economic transformation has been remarkable. … And Aramco’s commitment to its energy security and economic development is stronger than ever. From our initial crude cargo in 1991, to reaching almost 17% of China’s crude imports in the first half of this year, Aramco has safely and reliably supplied China with almost 7 billion barrels of oil … making us China’s No. 1 crude oil supplier. Even better, the barrels we supply have one of the world’s lowest Upstream carbon intensity footprints,” Al-Qahtani said.
Al-Qahtani went on to note that over the past 30 years, Aramco and China’s bilateral relations have grown far beyond the buying and selling of crude oil, to a diversified investment portfolio, and even joint operations.
These include refining projects such as the Fujian Refining & Petrochemical complex and the YASREF Joint Venture in Yanbu’, Saudi Arabia, as well as a range of cutting-edge research and industry partnerships.
And with SABIC now a part of Aramco’s global enterprise, we see a game changer in Downstream opportunities, with a scale and mix of products to expand our investments and partnerships in China.
— Mohammed Y. Al-Qahtani
Circular carbon economy
Noting the urgency to balance economic and environmental goals, Al-Qahtani said that Aramco believes in the circular carbon economy approach, as endorsed by the G20 Energy Ministers, as the framework for achieving the greatest impact.
“We want to work with China to leverage our industry leadership on emission reduction … as well as our innovations to reduce, reuse, recycle, and remove carbon dioxide … and bring about more sustainable energy solutions,” he said.
“For example, chemicals hold tremendous promise. Here, we plan to leverage our cutting-edge direct crude to chemicals conversion technology. In addition, we are pursuing new sources of energy such as blue hydrogen … and we hope to expand our collaboration with China in these areas, including clean hydrogen and ammonia, combined with carbon capture and storage.”
In closing, Al-Qahtani highlighted that human talent and technology remain Aramco’s greatest resources.
“Our Research Center in Beijing, and SABIC’s Technology Center in Shanghai, are working “at the speed of science” to support China’s efforts to become self-sufficient in groundbreaking, futuristic technologies.”
“In fact, China is the hub from which Aramco supports our entire business across Asia, with an organization comprising 185 employees — more than 90% of whom are Chinese. And we have more than 80 Saudis fluent in Mandarin, having earned their degrees from Chinese universities.”
“Together, China and Aramco are making progress toward some very powerful goals,” Al-Qahtani said.