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.


Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund to raise authorized capital five-fold up to $62.15 billion

Updated 12 November 2019

Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund to raise authorized capital five-fold up to $62.15 billion

  • Egypt’s parliament passed a law allotting 5 billion Egyptian pounds of start-up capital for the fund last year
  • Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi: Egypt could dramatically expand the size of its new sovereign wealth fund to ‘more than several trillion pounds’

CAIRO: Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund is expected to increase its authorized capital to up to a trillion Egyptian pounds ($62.15 billion) from 200 billion pounds within three years, depending on investors’ appetite, the fund’s executive director said.
Last year, Egypt’s parliament passed a law allotting 5 billion Egyptian pounds of start-up capital for the fund, called the Egypt Fund, with 1 billion pounds to be transferred immediately from the treasury.
The law also allows the president, who picks the board of directors, to transfer the ownership of any unused state assists to the fund or to any of the fund’s assists or companies.
“We expect to increase our licensed capital within three years to a trillion pounds or less ... it all depends on the investors’ response and investment appetite,” said Ayman Soliman, the fund’s chief executive.
“The sectors we will work in include industry, traditional and renewable energy, tourism and archaeology,” Soliman said.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said last month that Egypt could dramatically expand the size of its new sovereign wealth fund to “more than several trillion pounds,” and that it “aims to contribute to sustainable economic development through management of its funds and assets.”
The fund plans to buy a stake of about 30 percent in power plants built by Siemens, Soliman said, adding that six international investors have expressed interest.
“So far, six companies submitted offers to the Electricity Holding company to buy shares in the Siemens power plant,” Soliman said.
The plants, billed at the time as the world’s biggest, were built by Siemens in a €6 billion ($6.61 billion) deal signed in 2015. El-Sisi inaugurated them last year.
In May, Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said that the government is considering selling the power plants to private investors, but talks were still at an early stage.