Aramco picks oil-to-chemicals as growth engine
Saudi Aramco is focusing on four key strategies to expand its chemicals business, in which it aims to convert about 2-3 million bbls/day of crude oil directly into petrochemical products, said Amin Nasser, President and CEO of the Saudi national energy company.
“We are expanding our petrochemical business in Saudi Arabia and growing overseas market,” Nasser said in his keynote address to the 13th Annual GPCA Forum.
“This will provide a reliable destination for Saudi Aramco’s future oil production and diversify both the company’s portfolio and the Kingdom’s. It will also create additional value,” he said.
“First is the integration of petrochemicals with our expanding global refining and marketing system, with oil feedstock at the heart of this strategy.
“We are targeting the conversion of up to 70% of the feedstock into petrochemicals. This challenging goal will be driven by advances in cutting-edge technology, which leads me to the second strategy,” he added.
“Our chemicals vision is supported by the development of ground-breaking crude oil-to-chemicals direct conversion technologies, where we are already seeing major progress in advanced thermal and catalytic cracking processes.
He explained that technology will be one of the key enablers for the company to build profitable and sustainable business.
“By developing our own oil-centric chemicals technologies, we will enjoy a sustained competitive edge throughout our region’s large resource base of oil; capture additional value; and diversify our petrochemicals product slate, since heavier liquid feedstocks like oil offer a much wider product slate than those derived from lighter feedstocks,” he added.
Nasser said the company’s third strategy involves acquisitions. “To reach our bold goal of converting 2-3 million bbls/day of oil into petrochemicals, both organic growth and strategic acquisitions are essential.”
Nasser said the fourth strategy is to extend beyond the core chemicals business into ‘end-use applications’ of chemical products. “That’s why we are giving special attention to developing and promoting cutting-edge non-metallic materials derived from petrochemicals.
“I see great potential in non-metallic materials as a substitute for natural materials in a wide range of high growth industries. These include automotive, housing, construction, packaging, oil and gas, renewables, and others.”
“By developing our own oil-centric chemicals technologies, we will enjoy a sustained competitive edge”
President and CEO, Saudi Aramco