GDA Downstream Conference
SPEECH: Remarks by Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani, executive vice president of Downstream, at GDA International Downstream Conference 2023
Committed to revolutionizing our operations while balancing security, affordability, and transition.
Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
Thank you for the invitation to speak here in the beautiful Kingdom of Bahrain to open a conference of thoughtful discussion, ideas, and learning.
We come together this week at a time of both great challenge and opportunity for our industry.
In the five years since the last GDA Downstream Conference, the energy industry has grappled with a global pandemic, heightened scrutiny, and immense pressures for change. The conflict in Ukraine has only magnified the focus.
The struggle of finding the correct balance between the energy trilemma of security, affordability, and environmental sustainability, remains top of mind for all of us. Unfortunately, with energy security and affordability often taking a backseat these days.
As a result, there continues to be chronic underinvestment in the energy industry.
The market continues to be stretched thin due to lagging oil supply capacity expansion and globally, we do not yet have consensus on the future role of oil and gas and remain without a robust and realistic transition plan.
These issues threaten to be further accelerated because despite concerns about a recession for some, many more analysts are predicting an economic rebound as 2023 continues with global consumption expected to ramp up this year and beyond.
To ensure proper balance, at Aramco, we believe one single solution or path forward will not work.
In truth, realistic transition plans need to be developed that address the energy trilemma, and give the world a realistic chance of meeting climate protection goals.
Despite all of this change and external pressure, the Downstream organizations represented in this room continue to lead the way making the most of our opportunities to adapt, while continuing to provide the energy the world requires.
Looking ahead, I believe we all need to continue to seize opportunities bringing upon a new era for Downstream, which aligns so perfectly with this conference’s theme of “Turning Points” and “Capitalizing on Transformation.”
As the world struggles to find the correct path forward, I am encouraged by what I continue to see from GDA organizations as innovation and technology are taking Downstream to the next level.
From renewables, to chemicals, to sustainable fuels, to decarbonized engine. We have the smartest minds in the world right here solving the globe’s most complex challenges.
For Aramco, we are incredibly proud to be host sponsors of such an amazing gathering this week.
We are also committed ourselves to revolutionizing our operations, as we balance security, affordability, and transition.
We are increasing our maximum sustainable capacity from 12 million barrels per day to 13 by 2027 helping to ensure that a reliable supply of energy is available for all people in all areas of the globe.
Parallel to that, and fueled by our 2050 net-zero ambition, we are committed to maintaining our position as one of the lowest carbon intensity suppliers of energy in the world.
To achieve these goals, we are implementing our Downstream Transformational Strategy. This involves an ambitious growth plan in crude to chemicals, cleaner conventional engines, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and much more.
One exciting project will come to life right here in Bahrain in just over two weeks at the Bahrain International Circuit.
We have been tirelessly working with the International Automobile Federation to implement the use of sustainable fuels in the world’s fastest racing cars.
We are extremely excited to see Formula 2 and Formula 3 have their first-ever races utilizing Aramco sustainable fuels as they kick off the 2023 season the first weekend of March.
And as these sustainable fuels are used in high speed open-wheel racing, we are thrilled about the possibilities for further development and use in other automobiles and methods of transportation in the future.
From transport trucks to airplanes to mini-vans this truly could be a “turning point” for our industry.
Finally, while many are focused on the transition of energy right now, materials also emit a lot of carbon.
So it is crucial that the world also pursue a materials transition or global net-zero goals may not be reached.
Hydrocarbon-based materials, such as polymers and composites, emit less CO2 and are more sustainable and could transform the way we use and reuse materials across the entire global economy, by complementing traditional materials in a big way.
At Aramco, we are giving equal importance to the materials transition.
Because of the superior cost, efficiency, and environmental advantages over their metal counterparts, we are turning crude oil into advanced polymeric materials to meet the growing demand for more sustainable nonmetallic solutions that lower both costs and emissions.
But it goes much further than this.
From applications in automotives, to cities, to the entire range of modern infrastructure the increasing demand for more cost-effective, durable, sustainable, and longer-lasting materials will be significant.
And as Aramco celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, we are thrilled to once again be pioneers on the road ahead.
Ladies and gentlemen, these are just a few examples of what Aramco is doing to “capitalize on transformation.”
And we know we are not alone in this journey.
Colleagues in other companies and nations are working on equally innovative and inspirational projects to position our industry and region for a promising future.
That’s why this conference is so critically important.
We all have an amazing opportunity to learn and share with the diversity of topics being a testament to the growth and evolution of Downstream in the region and abroad.
I truly hope you all enjoy this conference and I look forward to further collaboration and partnership, as we usher in the new era for Downstream together.