Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening.
Let me first thank the Minister of Energy, His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, for hosting this magnificent Gala Dinner on the eve of the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
And my thanks to our Egyptian brothers and sisters for reminding us of their world-famous hospitality, here in Sharm El-Sheikh.
As His Royal Highness just rightly said, this is a testing time in the world of energy.
All of us need a little inspiration as we face up to the triple challenges of security, equity, and environmental sustainability. So when I read that endurance swimmer, Lewis Pugh just completed the world’s first swim across the Red Sea, from Tiran Island in Saudi to Hurghada in Egypt, I was genuinely inspired.
That feeling only grew when I discovered that he was joined on the first leg to Sharm El-Sheikh by Dr. Mariam Binladen who became the first Saudi, first Arab, and first woman to swim from Saudi to Sinai.
Because Lewis and Mariam’s incredible achievements are a timely reminder that action speaks loudest of all. And an action-led philosophy is at the heart of Aramco’s response to the triple challenges, based on three strategic pillars.
First, recognition by policy makers and other stakeholders that ample and affordable conventional energy supplies are still required over the long term.
Second, new and lower carbon energy supplies are also needed to steadily complement conventional sources like oil and gas.
But the third pillar is what I want to focus on tonight. And that is the clear need for further reductions in the carbon footprint of conventional energy, enabled by technology as well as greater efficiency of energy use.
At Aramco, we are working flat-out to lower our upstream carbon intensity, our gas flaring, and our methane intensity, which are already among the lowest in the world. Meanwhile, our rapidly growing chemicals portfolio supports the increasingly non-combustible uses of oil.
Crucially, we are intensifying efforts to advance key enabling technologies. We are founding members of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, or OGCI, which drives collective action at the industry level.
At the company level, just last month Aramco Energy Ventures announced the creation of a $1.5 billion Sustainability Fund that will invest in breakthrough technologies and startups to find solutions to complex climate challenges.
And CCUS in particular could be the golden key to a viable energy future. The evidence is building that CCUS is critical to delivering the world’s net-zero commitments, especially its potential to capture CO2 emissions in hard-to-abate industries.
So, to expand on His Royal Highness’s announcement, I am proud to reveal the signing of a Joint Development Agreement tonight, in partnership with the Ministry of Energy, for one of the largest planned Carbon Capture and Storage hubs in the world.
Located on the east coast of Saudi Arabia in Jubail, it will potentially be able to safely store up to 9 million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2027. At Aramco, we aim to contribute around 6 million tonnes, with the remaining 3 million coming from other industrial sources. And as overall capacity ramps up, we plan to start other phases of our CCUS projects.
Our goal is that these projects will make a significant contribution to the 44 million tonnes the Kingdom plans to capture by 2035.
So this is a big game-changer on many fronts. It is also part of a broader, integrated strategy at Aramco to achieve our GHG reduction targets by 2035, and our net-zero ambition by 2050.
And it leverages the government’s Shareek program, which promotes vigorous participation of the private sector in the Kingdom’s economic transformation toward a lower carbon future.
In turn, this project underlines how essential partnerships are. And we are delighted to have Linde and SLB (as we must get used to calling you!) as our main commercial partners.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe that Lewis and Mariam’s incredible swim can truly inspire us to surpass our bold ambitions with even bolder actions, at accelerated speed.
And to use this Forum to focus on the areas that truly move us closer to the secure, equitable, and environmentally sustainable energy future we all need.