Amin Al-Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco, said on Tuesday that the oil market has passed the worst stage with the recovery in global demand for crude, which now stands at 90 million barrels per day. He added that oil demand in China has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels.
“The worst is definitely behind us,” said Nasser at the Energy Intelligence Forum. “We are seeing a recovery; we are looking at [global oil demand of] 90 million barrels per day currently and it is picking up.”
Nasser stressed that Asia, especially China - Aramco’s largest market - was witnessing a strong recovery.
On the future outlook, Nasser said: “It depends on whether there is a vaccine, when it will be available, whether there is a second wave and how big it is... we can see some back and forth, but there are good signs and we expect to see a better market in the fourth quarter and next year.”
The Aramco president said that capital expenditures for the years 2018 and 2019 ranged between $33 billion and $35 billion and for 2020 they would range between $25 billion to $30 billion.
“We will continue to manage capital expenditures wisely. This is very important. I think it will be a better year compared to what we have been through in 2020, but we will continue to focus on our spending and make sure that we keep our flexible capital to manage our affairs,” he noted.
Nasser emphasized that the gas sector was also an important part of Aramco.
“We are looking to expand this significantly. Our gas portfolio will expand significantly in Saudi Arabia and abroad, including LNG in the future,” he stated.
He noted that Saudi Aramco was also looking at other important sources of clean energy, such as hydrogen and ammonia.
“We are putting a lot of effort into technologies that will help us reduce their cost,” he added.
The Saudi Aramco CEO stressed that oil would remain an important part of the company’s portfolio in the long term.
“We expect to be a major global player in the field of chemicals, and SABIC will help us, as it is among the global leaders in its field. Through our acquisition of SABIC by 70 percent, we will work in the chemical industry either through integrated refineries or projects from crude to chemicals,” he stated.
As for the international listing, Nasser said that any international listing must be decided by the Saudi government. He noted, however, that the Saudi oil giant would meet the requirements of any listing in the global market.
On a different note, UAE Minister of Energy Suhail Al-Mazrouei said that OPEC+ intends to move towards easing oil production cuts as of January next year, as planned.
“We in OPEC+ have set a plan and that plan... started with the almost 10 million or 9.7 million barrels (per day) reduction. That volume has been reduced, and it will be reduced again at the end of this year as we walk to 2021,” Al Mazrouei told the forum.