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.


Alibaba confirms huge Hong Kong public listing worth at least $13bn

Updated 28 min 42 sec ago

Alibaba confirms huge Hong Kong public listing worth at least $13bn

  • Over-allocation options could take the total value to more than $13 billion, making it one of the biggest IPOs in Hong Kong for a decade
  • Alibaba Chief Executive Officer said the group wanted to participate in Hong Kong’s future

HONG KONG: Chinese technology giant Alibaba on Friday confirmed plans to list in Hong Kong in what it called a $13 billion vote of confidence in the turbulent city’s markets and a step forward in its plans to go global.
The enormous IPO, which Hong Kong had lobbied for, will come as a boost for authorities wrestling with pro-democracy protests that have tarnished the financial hub’s image for order and security and hammered its stock market.
Alibaba will offer 500 million shares at a maximum of HK$188 apiece to retail investors, the company said. The number eight is considered auspicious in China.
Over-allocation options could take the total value to more than $13 billion, making it one of the biggest IPOs in Hong Kong for a decade after insurance giant AIA raised $20.5 billion in 2010.
Alibaba had planned to list in the summer but called it off owing to the city’s long-running pro-democracy protests and the China-US trade war. The US and China are now working on sealing a partial trade deal.
Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Chief Executive Officer, said the group wanted to “contribute, in our small way, and participate in the future of Hong Kong.”
“During this time of ongoing change, we continue to believe that the future of Hong Kong remains bright,” he said.
The firm’s shares are already traded in New York. A second listing in Hong Kong is expected to curry favor with Beijing, which has sought to encourage its current and future big tech firms to list nearer to home after the loss of companies such as Baidu to Wall Street.
In the statement, Zhang said that when Alibaba went public in 2014 it “missed out on Hong Kong with regret.”
Mainland authorities have also stepped up moves to attract such listings, including launching a new technology board in Shanghai in July.
The listing comes after the city’s exchange tweaked the rules to allow double listings, while Chief Executive Carrie Lam had also been pushing Alibaba’s billionaire founder Jack Ma to sell shares in the city.
“The listing in Hong Kong will allow more of the company’s users and stakeholders in the Alibaba digital economy across Asia to invest and participate in Alibaba’s growth,” the company said.
It has long been expected to launch a multibillion-dollar stock listing in Hong Kong but appeared to postpone the offering because of political and economic turmoil.
Hong Kong’s key Hang Seng Index rose 0.48 percent in morning trading following the announcement
Chinese shoppers set new records for spending on Monday’s annual 24-hour “Singles’ Day” buying spree, despite an economic slowdown in the country and the worries over the US trade war.
It said consumers spent $38.3 billion on its platforms over that stretch, up 26 percent from the previous all-time high mark set last year.
Alibaba also said it saw record amounts of cross-border sales, underlining its plans to expand globally.
“Globalization is the future of Alibaba Group. We firmly believe the marriage of digital technology and commerce will bring about unprecedented change that will not be limited by borders,” Zhang said.