About Saudi Aramco

A world leader in oil and gas

Owned by the Saudi Arabian Government, Saudi Aramco is a fully-integrated, global petroleum enterprise and a world leader in the exploration, production, refining, distribution, shipping and marketing of oil and gas. The company manages proven conventional reserves of 260 billion barrels of oil and manages the fourth largest gas reserves in the world, 263 trillion cubic feet.

In addition to its headquarters in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco has affiliates, joint ventures and subsidiary offices in China, Japan, India, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Saudi Aramco produces five grades of crude oil, Arabian Super Light (ASL), Arabian Extra Light (AXL), Arabian Light (AL), Arabian Medium (AM) and Arabian Heavy (AH), thus satisfying the needs of all of our customers and partners around the world. Through the years, Saudi Aramco has discovered over 100 oil and gas fields in the Kingdom; among them is Ghawar; the world’s largest onshore oil field and Safaniya; the world’s largest offshore field. Ghawar field holds over 100 billion barrels and Safaniya holds over 50 billion barrels. To maintain petroleum production capacity, Saudi Aramco continually invests to ensure that it maintains its reputation as the most reliable energy supplier. Saudi Aramco is committed to providing the world with reliable and steady supplies of energy that amount to about 10 per cent of the oil consumed daily in the world today.

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In line with Saudi Aramco’s strategic objectives, in November 2003, the company signed an agreement with Shell for non-associated gas exploration and production through South Rub Al-Khali Company (SRAK). Located in the South Rub Al-Khali of Saudi Arabia, this concession covers 210,000 square kilometers. The participants will be exploring and developing gas resources on an industry-proven tax-royalty model.

An additional three upstream packages, totalling an area of 120,000 square kilometres, were offered. Contracts were signed in March 2004 with Russia’s Lukoil, China’s Sinopec, and a consortium of Italy’s ENI and Spain’s Repsol.

The signing of these upstream offerings opened a new era for gas development in the Kingdom and demonstrates that investment is welcomed and can be agreed under favorable terms.

Saudi Aramco also operates the world’s largest single hydrocarbon network, the Kingdom’s Master Gas System (MGS). The MGS is a gas gathering and processing system built in the mid-1970s, and has been the backbone of the country's industrial network since the system’s completion in 1982. The MGS enables Saudi Aramco to use or market nearly all the gas associated with oil production and all non-associated gas produced from deep gas reservoirs. In the company's overall gas operations, natural gas is processed to produce clean fuel (methane, or sales gas) and feedstock (methane, ethane, propane, butane and natural gasoline). Methane and ethane are consumed entirely by the Kingdom's utilities and industry. Excess propane, butane and natural gasoline (also known as natural gas liquids, or NGL) that are not used by the domestic petrochemicals industry are exported to world markets.

The Kingdom's demand for sales gas is expected to continue to grow at 5 per cent per year as the country's domestic and industrial bases expand. Gas is used to generate electricity, as fuel gas and feedstocks for the petrochemical industry, for desalination and to support oil and gas operations. At Saudi Aramco, we are currently managing several major multi-billion dollar projects to boost natural gas processing capacity. When complete, these projects will increase our processing capacity for associated and non-associated gas from 9.3 billion scfd to 12.5 billion scfd.

Saudi Aramco's MGS has the capacity to process more than 9 billion scfd of gas and deliver more than 7 billion scfd of net sales gas to industrial customers around the Kingdom. A project to expand the transmission system in the Eastern region, funded in 2007, is ongoing with completion anticipated in 2010. This project will expand the MGS with 215 kilometers of 56-inch pipe paralleling existing lines in order to serve future demand in Jubail and Ras az-Zawr.

Saudi Aramco operates five domestic refineries within the Kingdom, which primarily serve the local market.

Saudi Aramco also holds a 50 per cent interest in each of two existing in-Kingdom joint venture refineries which are located in Yanbu and Jubail.

Saudi Aramco is currently a participant in four refining and marketing companies located outside the Kingdom, namely Motiva Enterprises in the US, S-Oil in Korea, Fujian in China and Showa Shell in Japan.

The company not only markets and exports crude oil, petroleum products, natural gas liquids and sulfur, but also ships crude oil worldwide via tankers through Vela International Marine Limited, an affiliated company, and participates in joint ventures and other affiliates at home and abroad to refine crude oil and market its products.

Saudi Aramco's sales and marketing activities are handled by three departments – crude, product and logistics – responsible for worldwide export sales of crude oil, refined products, natural gas liquids and sulfur, as well as the import of refined products to meet shortfalls in the domestic market. Besides its sales and marketing headquarters in Dhahran, the company has various subsidiaries with offices around the world that provide marketing services:

  • Saudi Petroleum International, Inc., maintains offices in New York.
  • Saudi Petroleum Overseas, Ltd., is based in London.
  • Saudi Petroleum, Ltd., has offices in Tokyo, Beijing and Singapore.
  • Saudi Aramco Sino Company (SASC), is based in Hong Kong.

The Asian region remains a cornerstone of the company’s international business and, in 2005, Saudi Arabia became the No. 1 supplier of crude oil to China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

Saudi Aramco, Fujian Petrochemical Company Limited (FPCL) of China and ExxonMobil are jointly developing a project to triple the refining capacity of FPCL’s existing Fujian, China, refinery, as well as to add major petrochemical manufacturing units.

In 2009, the Aramco Overseas Company (AOC) Hong Kong office and the new Hong Kong office of Saudi Aramco Sino Company (SASC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, were inaugurated.

This event marked the transition between what was merely a development office for the Fujian project, to the hub of Saudi Aramco operations in the Asia Pacific region. The move also indicates the increasing emphasis that Saudi Aramco places on its relationships in the region.

With the change in its charter, AOC and SASC Hong Kong offices will now manage Saudi Aramco’s interests and investments in Asia. The Asia Joint Venture portfolio currently has four investments located in three Asian countries and cultures. S-Oil in the Republic of Korea, Showa Shell in Japan, Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Company limited (FREP) in China and Sinopec SenMei (Fuijan) Petroleum Company Limited (SSPC) in China. The portfolio processes around 1.3 million bpd of crude oil, 90 per cent of which is Arabian crude. In addition, the Asian Joint Venture portfolio produces around 6,300 metric tons per annum (MTA) of petrochemical products and 1,300 MTA of high-quality group II and III base oil.

Saudi Aramco subsidiary Vela Marine International Ltd, owns and operates the world's second largest tanker fleet to help transport crude oil production, which amounted to 1.7 million barrels per day internationally, and 600,000 barrels per day domestically, in 2008.

Saudi Aramco refines and distributes oil products throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to meet domestic daily energy demands.

In 1963, Saudi Aramco issued its first-ever environmental protection plan, intended to monitor and control any possible pollution to air, groundwater, land and marine environments. Since that date, each company department has been required to ensure that their facilities are designed and operated in line with this plan. Saudi Aramco shares the world's concern that climate change is a long-term challenge, and we are working to play a leading role in developing and implementing technological solutions in a responsible manner. Consistent with the company’s mandate to produce hydrocarbons for profit; Saudi Aramco’s R&D Center is developing novel low-cost technologies for CO2 capture – from fixed and mobile sources, for use as valuable chemical intermediates – for commercial use.

All Saudi Aramco projects are built in a manner that minimizes their environmental footprint, using best-in-class technology. Saudi Aramco’s Environmental Protection Department produces a number of publications that are available to the public, in hard copy and PDF.

For more information, visit the Saudi Aramco website at www.saudiaramco.com.

Investment opportunities

For information about the investment environment in the Kingdom, and how the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority can facilitate, support and provide prospective investors with hands-on assistance – from the enquiry stage to the fulfillment of a business project – visit the SAGIA website at www.sagia.gov.sa.

For information about Saudi Arabia’s Commercial Sector visit the Saudi Arabian Chamber of Commerce website at www.saudichambers.org.sa.

For information about business partnerships and investment opportunities within the Saudi Aramco enterprise, visit the New Business section of the Saudi Aramco website at www.saudiaramco.com.

Visas

Prior to arrival in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, every foreign national is required to have an entry visa stamped in their passport by an embassy or consulate of Saudi Arabia.

The AOC Government Relations representative can provide assistance to business parties wishing to travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on business with AOC or Saudi Aramco. Applicants must bear in mind that AOC does not issue visas; it can only help people with the process.

If you are doing business with the Saudi Aramco enterprise and want more information about visas, contact AOCGovernmentRelations@aramco.nl.