Saudi Aramco joins World Bank ‘zero flaring’ initiative

An Aramco employee walks near an oil tank at Saudi Aramco’s Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)
Updated 06 November 2019

Saudi Aramco joins World Bank ‘zero flaring’ initiative

  • Saudi Aramco has a strong focus on flaring reduction, which remained at less than 1 percent of its total raw gas production in the first half of 2019
  • The company’s low-flaring levels are a result of its decades-long focus on sustainability, including the development of the Kingdom’s Master Gas System in the 1970s

JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco announced on Wednesday that it is joining the “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” World Bank Initiative.

The company has a strong focus on flaring reduction, which remained at less than 1 percent of its total raw gas production in the first half of 2019.

Ahmad A. Al-Saadi, Saudi Aramco senior vice president, technical services, said: “We are proud to join the ‘Zero Routine Flaring by 2030’ initiative, which we view as an important global effort to eliminate flaring. We have been taking active steps to reduce flaring in our operations for the past 40 years and have invested in a range of flaring reduction technologies and programs to achieve our excellent performance.”

“Beyond this initiative, we are also investing in advanced technologies to enable greater efficiency and lower emissions in transport, carbon-free hydrogen fuels, and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). This is all part of our broader effort to enable the circular carbon economy and deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy to the world while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Saudi Aramco’s low-flaring levels are a result of its decades-long focus on sustainability, including the development of the Kingdom’s Master Gas System in the 1970s, rolling out a company-wide “flaring minimization roadmap,” using innovative flaring reduction technologies and establishing a fourth industrial revolution center that monitors all the company’s operations including flaring in real-time. 

In addition, and as a result of Saudi Aramco’s reservoir management best practices, flaring minimization and energy efficiency programs, the company’s 2018 upstream carbon intensity figure is among the lowest globally at 10.2 kilograms of CO2 equivalent per barrel of oil equivalent.

Launched in April 2015, the “zero flaring” initiative is a World Bank climate collaboration that brings together governments, oil and gas companies, and development institutions from around the world to eliminate routine flaring by 2030. More than 80 governments and organizations have joined the initiative, including the government of Saudi Arabia, which signed up in December 2018.


Oil falls below $57 on virus impact and OPEC+ delay

Updated 19 February 2020

Oil falls below $57 on virus impact and OPEC+ delay

  • Contagion ‘is spooking market players,’ analysts say after Asian shares fall and Apple issues warning

LONDON: Oil fell below $57 a barrel on Tuesday, pressured by concerns over the impact on crude demand from the coronavirus outbreak in China and a lack of further action by OPEC and its allies to support the market.

Forecasters including the International Energy Agency (IEA) have cut 2020 oil demand estimates because of the virus. Though new cases in mainland China have dipped, global experts say it is too early to judge if the outbreak is being contained.

Brent crude was down 82 cents at $56.85 a barrel in mid-afternoon trade after rallying in the previous five sessions. US West Texas Intermediate crude fell 70 cents to $51.35.

“Risk aversion has returned to the markets,” said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

“OPEC+ has shown no sign yet of reacting to the virus-related slump in demand by making additional production cuts.”

The virus is having a wider impact on companies and financial markets. Asian shares fell and Wall Street was poised to retreat on Tuesday after Apple said it would miss quarterly revenue guidance owing to weakened demand in China.

“This has spooked market players and triggered a sharp pullback in risk assets,” said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.

The IEA last week said that first-quarter oil demand is likely to fall by 435,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the same period last year in the first quarterly decline since the financial crisis in 2009.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia, have been considering further production cuts to tighten supply and support prices.

The group, known as OPEC+, has a pact to cut oil output by 1.7 million bpd until the end of March.

The next OPEC+ meeting next month is set to consider an advisory panel’s recommendation to cut supply by a further 600,000 bpd. Talks on holding an earlier meeting in February appear to have made no progress, OPEC sources said.

As well as OPEC+ voluntary curbs, support for prices has come from involuntary losses in Libya, where output has collapsed since Jan. 18 because of a blockade of ports and oilfields.