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Mon 1 Jan 2007 10:58 AM

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Energy security, co-operation: Aramco’s message to Japan speech

Saudi Aramco is continuing to spread its message about co-operation and energy security to client states in Asia.

Saudi Aramco is continuing to spread its message about co-operation and energy security to client states in Asia.

Ibrahim Mishari, vice president of marketing and supply planning, is the latest Saudi Aramco executive to speak about co-operation and partnership. This followed on from Abdulaziz Al-Khayyal, senior vice president of refining, marketing and international covering similar topics in Korea in November.

Mishari addressed a group from the Japanese energy industry in Tokyo in early December, looking at the future with an emphasis on energy security.

“Clearly, energy security as it applies to petroleum is a function of both supply and demand, and the interrelationship between the two is vital,” Mishari said. “In fact, the interface between supply and demand is where our industry is facing some of its most pressing challenges.”

He said these challenges include global refining and transportation capacities, which he described as stretched. He also commented that there is a disparity between existing refining configurations and “the heavier, sour crude grades that account for much of the world’s spare crude production capacity”.

Mishari noted that Saudi Aramco is involved in about a quarter of all refinery projects aimed at increasing capacity. The company is also working through a series of petroleum increment expansion projects to increase capacity by “millions of additional barrels per day” over the next few years.

He outlined current projects where Japanese companies are partnering with Saudi Aramco as well as some future areas for development.

“In today’s complex market environment, I believe it is essential that we travel the road to the future together, continually enhancing the level of co-operation,” said Mishari.

A few days after the speech, media sources in Asia reported that “Saudi Aramco told three Japanese lifters, two refiners in South Korea and one Taiwanese buyer that it will supply them with about 8-9% less crude than stipulated under their annual contracts next month (January)”.

This was reported prior to the OPEC meeting on 14 December.

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