Saudi Aramco ‘willing’ to sign deal with Novatek on arctic LNG 2: Al-Falih
Oil giant Saudi Aramco is currently studying multiple energy projects in Russia, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told TASS in an interview.
The state-owned firm is willing to sign an agreement with Novatek on Arctic LNG 2, Al-Falih revealed, adding that Aramco has extended the offer and hopes it will be accepted by Novatek.
“Arctic LNG 2 is just one of them, and they are looking at two other projects; some of them with Gazprom, while one of them is with Rosneft,” Al-Falih said.
“The best project will win and hopefully Aramco will be a part of the upstream landscape as well as the downstream. We are looking at petrochemical projects as well,” he added.
When asked if Saudi Aramco will use foreign crude to increase its refining capacity from 8 to 10 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2026, the energy minister said that Saudi Aramco has expressed interest in entering into long-term agreements with companies such as Rosneft, Lukoil and Gazprom Neft.
“I think this relationship could prove to be a very attractive way forward in trading and crude purchases by the Aramco system,” he noted.
Al-Falih also pointed out that investments in Russian petrochemical company Sibur's projects or equity could be of interest to Saudi Arabia.
“Sibur is a very attractive company, a good operator, and they are efficiently run. I think they have good technologies in some areas like rubbers and elastomers, and they could also benefit from the technologies available to Aramco and SABIC,” he said.
“So, some kind of joint investments, either in projects or even in Sibur’s equity, could be of interest, but the interest has to be from both sides. So we will wait for Sibur and its shareholders to express their interest in future cooperation,” Al-Falih continued.
Elsewhere, Al-Falih ruled out plans to build more than two nuclear power plants for now, adding the Kingdom was not in a hurry and has plenty of electricity capacity.
“We are increasing gas in our utilities fuel mix and plan to grow its share to more than 70 percent. Hence we do not need vast generation from nuclear sources,” he added.