CEO remarks at the 2020 China Development Forum

Amin H. Nasser, President & Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Aramco

Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, wǎn shàng hǎo and good evening.

It is unfortunate that we cannot be together in Beijing because of Covid-19. But the global leadership China has shown in tackling this global pandemic has been truly impressive.  

If the rest of the world can match China’s determination to create economic momentum while continuing to take strong protective measures, then I am sure we will reunite far sooner. 

For everyone around the world, 2020 has been a tough year. A great deal of uncertainty still lies ahead. It has also reminded the world of an unavoidable truth: that reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy systems are mission-critical to delivering economic prosperity and meeting society’s expectations.

Delivering those systems requires a clear vision and a pathway to success.

That is why China’s 2035 targets, together with President Xi’s inspirational Dual Circulation Strategy and goal of carbon neutrality by 2060, resonate loud and clear with us. They align closely with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, and the Circular Carbon Economy approach recently endorsed by G20 Energy Ministers.

And Aramco can make a distinct and meaningful contribution to these strategic priorities.

In particular, our acquisition of SABIC with its world-class chemicals capabilities, combined with Aramco’s world-leading strength as an energy supplier, means we now offer a one-stop-source to China. One that is ready to enhance China’s autonomy in vital areas, add value inside China working with Chinese companies, and help to generate innovative and sustainable growth.

For example, we can now offer China what it needs to produce advanced materials domestically. From bulk petrochemicals and specialties to advanced composites which can substitute materials that emit a lot more carbon during the production phase such as steel, other metals and alloys, and concrete.

We are at an advanced stage of developing futuristic technologies that convert crude oil directly into petrochemicals, including our flagship Catalytic Crude to Chemicals process being piloted with Tsinghua University in Beijing. And we are developing new, cutting-edge, non-metallic materials, whose production emits far less carbon, for use in sectors like construction, housing, and renewables.

Equally important is the significant contribution Aramco can make to China’s cleaner economic growth. Our oil already has one of the lowest upstream carbon intensities in the world, which will help China with its lower carbon goals.

Meanwhile, as new energy technologies slowly grow their contribution in the evolving energy mix, existing energy sources will continue to play a key role for decades to come. That is why improving their carbon footprint is now a key worldwide economic and environmental imperative.

We therefore welcome Chinese expertise to help us drive down emissions in transportation and turn CO2 into useful products. We are already collaborating with the Tsinghua Automotive Strategy Research Institute on fuels and engine efficiency, and with leading Chinese energy and automotive companies.

We can also supply bridge fuels that will help meet China’s growing need for clean energy, as we expand into international gas and LNG.

Most exciting of all, there are opportunities to collaborate in the development and use of clean future fuels such as hydrogen and other chemicals-type clean fuels. In fact, we recently exported the world’s first shipment of blue ammonia which will generate electricity with zero emissions.

Ladies and Gentlemen, for decades, Aramco has been a reliable supplier of China’s energy needs, supporting the rapid growth and development we see today. 

Our strengths and priorities have always been a natural fit.

With Aramco’s even greater capabilities and China’s new strategic priorities, our commitment to China has never been stronger. The contribution we can make to meet China’s energy and chemicals materials needs has never been clearer.

And the opportunities to supply more energy with less carbon to China, in collaboration with our Chinese partners, have never been more compelling.

Thank you, and xiè xiè.