2021 Year in Review: Aramco drives to new heights globally despite challenges
AramcoLIFE's first year proved to be a busy one, from landmark financial deals to high-profile collaborations to historic resource development and more.
Looking back, 2021 proved to be a year we began the trek toward a new normal, but it was also another landmark year for Aramco.
Fueled by its most valuable resource — its people — the company launched a number of significant initiatives, announced several historic projects and agreements, benefited from high profile collaborations and endorsements, and reported strong financial returns all while still combatting a global pandemic.
Here's a brief look back at the year that was:
There were a number of major news items to kick off the year, from the inauguration of the Ras Tanura Mangrove Eco-Park to the unveiling of the Dammam-7 supercomputer, one of the 10 fastest computers in the world.
February proved a landmark for Aramco publications with the launch of this product: Aramco LIFE.
Of course, there were even bigger announcements companywide, including the launch of Aramco's Downstream transformation.
In March, Aramco’s top executives discussed economic and industry trends as well as energy transition at a virtual CERAWeek 2021. Also along the way, it explored new ways to highlight its corporate value of Safety with the the book “The Art of Safety,” received an insightful report from OGCI about the value and opportunities for deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) in Saudi Arabia, and more.
In April, the company signed a $12.4 billion infrastructure investment deal what will lease usage rights of its stabilized crude oil pipeline network over a 25-year period to EIG Global Energy Partners. Also in April, the Ras Tanura Refinery recoded a major milestone in environmental stewardship with the completion of an Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel system that will see cleaner, environmentally friendly fuel distributed Kingdomwide.
In May, Aramco and SABIC announced the transfer of marketing and sales responsibility for a number of Aramco petrochemical and polymer products to SABIC, and the off take and resale responsibility of a number of SABIC products to the Aramco Trading Company (ATC).
In June, the company announced that employees contributed a record-breaking amount — over SR6 million — during the four-week 2021 Ramadan Annual Donation Campaign, the most ever given since the introduction of the online donations program. Meanwhile, Aramco announced it has successfully raised $6 billion following the sale of U.S. dollar-denominated Shariah-compliant securities to leading institutional investors.
In July, two new members were appointed to Aramco’s Board of Director, including Aramco’s former chief financial officer Khalid H. Al-Dabbagh. The other is former HSBC head Stuart T. Gulliver.
Aramco in August announced its second quarter 2021 financial results, reporting a 288% increase in net income from the same quarter of last year to $25.5 billion, and declaring a dividend of $18.8 billion. The company’s net income for the first half of the year was $47.2 billion, representing a 103% increase over the same period in 2020.
Also in August, Aramco announced it was part of a coalition investing in the SR3.4 billion, a 1,500 megawatt Sudair Solar PV project that part of the Kingdom’s commitment to deploy a variety of low carbon energy solutions in Saudi Arabia.
In September, more than 100 representatives from Aramco, government ministries and local and global companies came together to sign 23 partnership agreements and launch the next phase of aramco namaat, Aramco’s industrial investment program.
Launched in Nov. 2020, aramco namaat (meaning “growth” in Arabic), is focused on forging world-class industrial partnerships in four key areas — Sustainability, Technology, Industrials, and Advanced Materials.
In October, Aramco announced its ambition to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions across its wholly owned operated assets by 2050. This ambition is an important part of the company’s focus on long-term shareholder value creation by advancing its goals through a companywide approach in sustainability.
The company plans to disclose further details in its forthcoming Sustainability Report to be issued in the second quarter of 2022.
The announcement complements the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s aim to reach net-zero emissions by 2060.
In November, King Salman Energy Park (SPARK), the world-class energy and industrial city, marked another significant milestone recently as Aramco and the Horizon Project Company Ltd. broke ground on a 277,000 m2 drilling and workover site.
Construction is scheduled to be completed by the second quarter of 2023.
Aramco kicked off December by announcing the start of development of the vast Jafurah unconventional gas field, the largest nonassociated gas field in Saudi Arabia. The company has awarded subsurface and Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts worth $10 billion, with capital expenditure at Jafurah expected to reach $68 billion over the first 10 years of development.
It is a significant milestone both for the commercialization of unconventional resources in Saudi Arabia and the expansion of Aramco’s integrated gas portfolio, which will provide additional feedstock to support growth of the company’s high-value chemicals business, complement its focus on low-carbon hydrogen production, and help reduce emissions in the domestic power sector by providing a cleaner-burning alternative to liquid fuel.