DUBAI: Saudi Aramco has given up some of its storage space in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The world’s biggest oil company said that tanks in the Kingdom were being used to store raw sterilizing materials for the Saudi Food and Drug Authority ahead of their use in the fight against the virus.
Facilities belonging to Saudi Basic Industries Corporation are also being used to store more than 6,000 tons of material.
Oil storage is at a premium worldwide as industrial and transport demand for energy plummets in the global lockdown. Some experts have warned that the oil industry faces “tank top” — when all available land and sea storage is full — later this month.
The use of Aramco’s storage facilities are one of several initiatives announced by the company during the health crisis.
CEO Amin Nasser said: “The world has encountered unprecedented complexities as a result of COVID-19, which have required high levels of agility and adaptability. The safety and well-being of our people has always been Aramco’s top priority and we continue to put them first in every decision we make.”
Aramco has donated SR200 million ($53 million) to a Ministry of Health endowment fund to combat the virus. The money will be used to provide ventilators in hospital intensive care units.
Employees have raised around $1.7 million in a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” campaign to support vulnerable people through the provision of basic foodstuffs, preventative equipment such as masks and hand sanitizer and educational materials.
Aramco will match that figure, bringing the total raised to $3.4 million of essential supplies to be distributed to 20,000 households in 15 cities across the Kingdom.