Saudi Aramco, the world’s leading crude oil exporter, has signed 50 new memoranda of understanding (MOUs) at the sixth iteration of its In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) Forum and Exhibition. Oil and gas majors including Honeywell, Schlumberger, and TechnipFMC are among the companies to have signed agreements at the event, ranging from climate leadership and digitalisation to equipment localisation.  

With this year’s theme being “paving the way to economic success”, the IKTVA program is intended to boost domestic economic growth and value – with a particular focus on the energy sector – in the wake of pandemic-related disruptions.  

“It wasn’t possible to predict the pandemic, but IKTVA helped prepare us for the uncertainties it caused,” Aramco president and CEO Amin H. Nasser said in a statement

“Our investment in a diversified network of suppliers has helped us maintain a track record of reliability, despite the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on global supply chains. The IKTVA program continues to prove its value by contributing to an increasingly vibrant, dynamic, and business-friendly environment in Saudi Arabia,” he added. 

According to Aramco, IKTVA is crucial to building the country’s “commercial ecosystem”, with domestic value creation currently contributing $100bn to the national economy. As a result of the event, Aramco channelled 59% of its spending to domestic suppliers in 2021, up from 35% in 2015 when IKTVA was launched. 

The news also follows Aramco’s signing of nine MOUs earlier this month with what it termed as “leading Korean entities” during the Saudi-Korean investment forum. According to the group, these deals will help its development of low-carbon energy solutions, in particular looking at the supply and transportation of alternative fuels ammonia and hydrogen.  

Aramco reported this week that oil demand was climbing to reach pre-pandemic levels once again, with Nasser telling media on Monday that more investment is needed by producers into supply.  

“We are getting very close to pre-pandemic levels,” he told reporters. “We continue to see healthy demand in the future.”