Saudi Aramco CEO optimistic on new oil and gas climate initiative

Updated 24 September 2014
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Saudi Aramco CEO optimistic on new oil and gas climate initiative

Saudi Aramco and the world’s leading oil and gas companies have unveiled an “oil and gas climate initiative” at the UN Climate Summit in New York.
“The Climate Initiative will only grow stronger as more companies join this historic undertaking. And it will put our industry even more firmly at the forefront of the climate solution to which we all aspire,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih.
Several big oil and gas companies took part in the private sector sessions at the summit.
“The initiative serves as a platform to address key climate challenges, share industry best practices, and catalyze meaningful action and coordination on climate change,” he said in his remarks at a summit session.
“It’s yet another example of how the oil and gas industry is positioning itself once again to be the key provider of solutions to global energy challenges,” said the CEO.
He said: “Simultaneously delivering the environmental and economic dividends the world needs will not be easy. But in our view, a bottom-up, industry-led, approach including private-public partnerships — and with innovation and technology at its core — is the best way of delivering both.”
He said the oil and gas climate initiative brings together national and international oil and gas companies such as Total, BG Group, Eni, PEMEX, Sinopec and Saudi Aramco, to address key climate challenges, share industry best practices, and catalyze meaningful action and coordination. "Combined, we constitute a significant share of global oil and gas production, and others are set to join," he said.
While the companies joining the initiative will work together, they will individually define the scope and parameters of their own contributions, in recognition of their differing capacities and circumstances, said the CEO.
The efforts will also build on relevant global initiatives already in place, many of which are significant.
"Initial efforts are already underway in a number of areas, including energy access; the reduction of gas flaring and methane emissions; enhancement of energy efficiency in both production of energy and key end-use sectors; carbon capture and storage; and an expanded role for natural gas and renewable energy," Al-Falih said.
More focus areas will be added, with the aim of building a sector-wide, industry-led coalition, and we’ll provide regular updates, he said.
"This unprecedented initiative serves as a platform to address key climate challenges, by looking at what the sector as a whole is currently doing about climate change, and what it is prepared to do, collectively, going forward. And, crucially, it’s a bottom-up, voluntary, technology-enabled, industry-driven initiative, to address climate challenges through collaboration," said the CEO.
Addressing the petroleum and industry session, Al-Falih added: “At Saudi Aramco, we are committed to powering global economic development with adequate and affordable energy as well as a low-carbon future.”
He said: “Better yet, we firmly believe that these era-defining objectives are not mutually exclusive.”
The CEO said: “We employ a multi-pronged strategy that addresses both the production of petroleum and its consumption:

• through an unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship beyond mere compliance;

• by instilling operational excellence all along the petroleum value chain;

• and, most critically, by leveraging innovation and technology.

Al-Falih said: “When it comes to the production side of the equation, at Saudi Aramco we’ve already come a long way. Over the past four decades, we’ve reduced our CO2 footprint six-fold, despite rising activity levels; and we’ve reduced gas flaring to well below 1 percent of annual gas production. Our multi-faceted efforts continue, as we are about to start a sizable demonstration project for CO2 recovery from one of our large industrial plants.”
He said: “Looking at the consumption side, great progress has been made. Although the transport sector is responsible for only 13 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, innovation and technology could make this even smaller. For example, hybrid vehicles are able to double the average miles per gallon. This is on top of ongoing efforts to increase the efficiency of conventional internal combustion and diesel engines.
The CEO said: “For example, at Saudi Aramco, one of our principal R&D objectives is to achieve ground-breaking advancements in integrated engine-fuel systems to radically improve mileage efficiency and reduce emissions, working with the automotive industry. Our R&D has been extended further to prototype vehicles that capture CO2 on-board.”
Al-Falih said: “All of these efforts on both the production and consumption sides are backed by a fivefold increase in our R&D funding, while working collaboratively with like-minded partners. And these efforts are delivering real and lasting impact on our own economic and environmental bottom lines, with global implications.”


Lebanon’s Jammal Trust Bank forced to close by US sanctions

Updated 19 September 2019

Lebanon’s Jammal Trust Bank forced to close by US sanctions

  • Jammal Trust Bank is accused of helping to fund the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon
  • The bank has 25 branches in Lebanon and representative offices in Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Britain

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Jammal Trust Bank has been forced to wind itself down after being hit last month by US sanctions for allegedly helping to fund the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, the bank said on Thursday.
The central bank said the value of the bank’s assets, and its share of the national deposit guarantee body, were “in principle enough to pay all deposits and commitments.”
Jammal Trust Bank denied the US allegations in August after the bank and its subsidiaries were hit with sanctions, accused of helping to fund the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon.
“Despite its sound financial situation ... and its full compliance with banking regulations, the (bank) was forced to take the decision to liquidate itself in full coordination with the central bank,” Jammal Trust said in a statement.
The bank has 25 branches in Lebanon and representative offices in Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Britain, its website says.
It is a relatively small lender, with net assets of 1,600 billion Lebanese pounds ($1 billion) at the end of 2017, according to the annual report on the latest year for which data is available.
Washington has sought to choke off Hezbollah’s funding worldwide, with sanctions among a slew of steps against Tehran since US President Donald Trump withdrew last year from a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran.