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Saudi Aramco to invest more than $300 billion in oil and gas projects in next decade

Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil company, will continue to invest despite low oil prices to prevent a longer term shortfall in supply, chief executive Amin Nasser has said.14 Oct 2016

The oil and gas industry is likely to see up to $1 trillion in development plans delayed or cancelled over the next decade, and this is likely to tighten the supply-demand balance, Nasser told the World Energy Congress.

"At Saudi Aramco, our response has always been to take a long term and flexible approach. We have continued to invest prudently in our core oil and gas projects, and in the downstream and chemicals. Where we have deferred and stretched projects, these have mostly been in discretionary and support investments," he said.

"And we are continuing to maintain our spare production capacity to help respond to unforeseen events, and help minimise their potential impact on the global economy. By doing so, we are playing our part in enhancing the energy security of global consumers," he said.

While the world is slowly moving away from fossil fuels "it is anticipated that some 75% of [energy demand] will still be met by fossil fuels in 2040", he said.

"So the role of oil and gas in the global energy mix seems likely to remain significant for decades to come. Yet business as usual cannot be our future model," Nasser said.

Saudi Aramco 'Energy 2.0' plans consist of three components, Nasser said.

"First, we must continue making adequate and timely investments in the supply of oil and gas. We plan to invest more than $300 billion over the coming decade to reinforce our preeminent position in oil, maintain our spare oil production capacity, and pursue a large exploration and production program centring on conventional and unconventional gas resources," he said.

"Second, the current environment has demonstrated that strong financial capacity is an essential component of greater resilience. Another essential component of Energy 2.0 will be dramatically altering our underlying cost structure – even at Saudi Aramco where we enjoy the benefits of prolific oil and gas fields, and production costs that are among the lowest in the industry," Nasser said.

"Third, we must make sufficient investment in innovation and technology to make the use of oil ultra clean, as well as overcome the challenges faced by alternatives," he said.