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Saudi Energy Minister: Aramco to Internationally Invest in Gas, LNG Production | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia, June 2, 2017. (Reuters)

St. Petersburg – Saudi Aramco will globally invest in the production of gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid al-Falih.

Speaking at the 21st St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Friday during a session entitled “Mechanisms of Global Economy — Hydrocarbon Energy: Will it become a Legacy of the Past or Basics of Development?”, the minister discussed the important role of new technologies in speeding up the diversification of energy sources and minimizing the current risks on climate.

Over 12,000 participants attended SPIEF that was held in the Russian city of St. Petersburg between June 1 and 3, 2017.

Falih called for further investing in the research and development of petrochemicals and renewable energy to benefit from natural sources.

The Saudi minister said OPEC and non-OPEC members in the reduction agreement will study the possibility of increasing the reduction rates in their meeting in November 2017.

He pointed out however that the global oil demand is not expected to peak before the 2050s.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Secretary General of OPEC, Mohammed Barkindo, CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev, and other energy officials attended the session.

The attendees reiterated the importance of OPEC members committing to the latest oil output cut deal for nine more months. They also discussed means to achieve balance in the market through cooperation between oil producers and importers.

The forum speakers also stressed that oil, as a hydrocarbon, will remain a key energy source in the long term and that it should not be looked at as the sole source of pollution. They also emphasized the need to adopt a comprehensive plan to deal with climate change, adding that several new technologies can be used to transfer hydrocarbons into economically and environmentally useful materials.

TASS News Agency reported Falih expressing the possibility for further reducing oil prices in the future, but he added that OPEC members and other oil producers will evaluate market situation in July.

Last week, OPEC and other countries led by Russia agreed to extend the oil output cut deal for nine more months until March 2018.

Falih said that the committee set to monitor the cuts will be able in July to determine whether the reductions were effective in supporting oil prices or not.

“I think we have to wait. We have to see the market and I think by the end of June, in July we will see that the action we have taken has a big impact,” Falih said as TASS reported.

He admitted that if for some reason more was needed, the members will consider doing so, including extending bigger cuts.

“So let’s just wait and monitor how close we are to the goal and what the trajectory is and on this basis we will decide. Nothing is off the table but today nothing is on the table either. We made a deal,” he noted.

Recently, Russia and Saudi Arabia reached an agreement to reduce production.

Speaking alongside his Russian counterpart Novak in Moscow last week, Falih said he expects this new cooperation to continue even after the current output agreement expires.