CEO: Aramco in talks to invest more in LNG

Energy behemoth Aramco is in talks to further invest in liquefied natural gas, including in US LNG projects, according to Aramco’s CEO, Amin Nasser.

Saudi Arabia’s Aramco made its first international investment in LNG last year to capitalize on rising LNG demand.

In September, Aramco agreed to buy a minority stake in MidOcean Energy, the LNG unit of US-based energy investor EIG for $500 million.

The agreement includes the option for Aramco to increase its shareholding and associated rights in MidOcean in the future.

MidOcean is currently in the process of acquiring interests in four Australian LNG projects, and it has recently also purchased a stake in LNG terminal operator Peru LNG from a unit of South Korean conglomerate SK.

Asked about whether Aramco is interested in investing in LNG in the US and other countries during the company’s 2023 earnings call on Monday, Nasser said, “for sure, we are interested in LNG.”

“We are investing in LNG via MidOcean in Australia and we are currently looking for opportunities in the US,” he said.

Nasser said that Aramco is “currently in discussions with different entities with regard to that growth market for capacity of LNG.”

Back in 2019, Aramco signed a heads of agreement with US LNG exporter Sempra for the first phase of the Port Arthur LNG project in Texas. This deal did not materialize and it included a 20-year 5 mtpa LNG supply deal and a 25 percent equity investment.

Sempra Infrastructure is now building the first phase of the project but the company is also working to develop the second Porth Arthur LNG phase.

LNG expansion to come from outside markets

Aramco reported its second highest ever net income of $121.3 billion in 2023 and is boosting its gas production in Saudi Arabia by more than 60 percent by 2030.

However, the new supplies will be used for the domestic industry and also some of it will be used for blue hydrogen exports as the company is currently in discussions with customers in Japan and South Korea.

The company is not currently planning to become an LNG producer.

“Expansion for LNG will come from outside markets for the time being,” Nasser said during the call.

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