Aramco is weighing more acquisitions in the liquified natural gas (LNG) segment, reported Bloomberg, citing Aramco upstream president Nasir Al-Naimi.
The news comes after the oil and gas giant signed a deal last week to acquire a minority stake in MidOcean Energy, its first international investment in LNG.
Al-Naimi said the company will explore investment opportunities elsewhere too.
“We see indications that the LNG market is positioned for structural, long-term growth,” he told the publication.
“Aramco’s intention is to become a leading global LNG player.”
According to Al-Naimi, the Middle East oil producer is expanding beyond its main business and targeting major development in gas and low-carbon energy alternatives.
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To replace Russian pipeline gas, Europe is building LNG terminals. In Asia, many countries are switching from conventional fuels such as coal and fuel oil to cleaner gas.
Aramco could deploy a mergers and acquisitions strategy to expand in the LNG industry, the executive noted.
The volume of LNG traded globally expanded from 100 million tonnes in 2000 to roughly 400 million tonnes in 2022, and Aramco is aiming to benefit from this developing market.
Aramco will pay $500m (SR1.9bn) for the stake in MidOcean Energy, which is looking to purchase stakes in four Australian LNG projects.
“This investment will enable us to meet the rising global demand for LNG, especially in key markets such as Asia and Europe where we are seeing more infrastructure being established for LNG import,” Al-Naimi noted.
Aramco is also looking into opportunities for natural gas and LNG within Saudi Arabia.
The energy company aims to increase gas production from 2021 levels by at least 50% through 2030.
With a goal to gradually boost natural gas deliveries to two billion standard cubic feet per day by 2030, it expects to begin producing natural gas from the Jafurah field in 2025.
Increased gas output will also aid in replacing oil used in the generation of electricity, freeing up more petroleum for export.