State oil giant
Saudi Aramco said rising oil demand from its largest
crude buyer, China, will offset declining consumption elsewhere.
"I believe increased Chinese demand offsets declining
consumption in the OECD nations," Khalid Al Falih, chief
executive officer of Aramco said in a speech posted on the
"[It] is essential to encouraging necessary investment in
exploration as well as oil production, refining and
transportation capacity, which ultimately benefits all petroleum
consumers," Falih said.
China, the world's No. 2 oil user, is surpassing the US as Riyadh's largest crude oil buyer with volumes poised
to touch an average of 1 million barrels per day this year, or
roughly one-fifth of China's total crude imports.
"Our relationship is founded on the provision of steadily
growing volumes of crude oil currently about a million barrels
per day, making Saudi Aramco China's largest and most reliable
supplier," Falih said.
Sino-Saudi trade ties have grown as Chinese economic growth
has boosted its fuel consumption and increased its reliance on
the kingdom's crude.
"The oil industry itself looks to China as the largest
source of incremental demand growth."
Aramco has already partnered Sinopec in the
joint venture Fujian plant in southeast China.
It signed last week an initial deal with China's Sinopec
Group to jointly build a $10-billion Yanbu refinery on the Red
Sea coast, a pact that further cements ties between the two
Aramco said on Sunday its subsidiary, Aramco Overseas Co had
signed a memorandum of understanding with PetroChina Company
Ltd, a subsidiary of China's state-owned oil giant CNPC
to develop a 200,000 bpd crude refinery in in Yunnan,
the Chinese province that borders on Myanmar.