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Thu 27 May 2010 02:21 AM

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Aramco to 'add value' with gas, refining expansion

Company is building three refineries in the country to meet growing domestic demand.

Aramco to 'add value' with gas, refining expansion
ADDING VALUE: Saudi Aramco will add value as it expands refining and petrochemical output and natural gas production to meet rising domestic energy demand. (Getty Images)

Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state oil company, will add value as it expands refining and petrochemical output and natural gas production to meet rising domestic energy demand, its chief executive officer said.

In a statement to the management, posted on the company website, Khalid Al Falih said: “We are increasing our efforts to find and develop gas. We will remain engaged in helping to optimize the Kingdom’s energy consumption.”

Satisfying domestic energy demand will remain one of the main challenges, al Falih said in presenting Aramco’s business plan for 2011 to 2015.

The company is building three refineries in the country to meet demand and to gain flexibility to export fuels.

The refining and manufacturing outlook is “favorable” and Aramco “will continue to add value through downstream integration with petrochemicals,” according to the statement.

Saudi Arabia’s energy demand will rise to 8.3 million barrels a day of oil equivalent in 2028 from 3.4 million barrels in 2009 unless it becomes more efficient, al Falih said in a speech posted on the website April 26.

Improved efficiency may reduce that demand growth by 50 percent, he said.

The largest Gulf Arab economy, Saudi Arabia is looking to energy sources like solar power to desalinate water and is burning fuel oil in power plants to save natural gas for petrochemical projects.

Saudi Aramco will oversee on its own two of three planned 400,000 barrel a day refineries, while a complex at Jubail on the Persian Gulf coast is a venture with France’s Total SA.

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