Aramco president and CEO says the company “walks the talk” in terms of reducing its carbon emissions.

Amin Nasser Talks Demand and Sustainability at World Economic Forum

In the eight years since becoming president and CEO of Aramco, Amin Nasser has seen a lot of changes. Social, environmental, and technological advancements have changed the face of the industry, but one thing has remained the same: the demand of hydrocarbons.

Nasser highlighted the expectation that oil and gas will continue to be part of the energy mix for some time during a 45-minute TV interview with CNBC’s Sara Eisen on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“Look at 2023. People talked about peak oil even before that, but last year we were at 102.5 million barrels (of oil consumed per day),” said Nasser. “In 2024, we are talking about an additional 1.5 million. In 2025, another 1 million.

“If you go back to the 1990s and ‘80s when I began, 80% of the energy used came from fossil fuels. Today, it’s 80%, but the scale is much higher.”

Amin Nasser

The key now, Nasser said, is ensuring a mix of energy sources are available while still advancing initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and developing alternative energy solutions.

“We strongly believe that oil and gas will continue to be part of the energy mix over the long term,” Nasser said, noting Aramco’s strategy will keep its focus on conventional business in oil and gas while expanding development and use of carbon capture technologies and liquid to chemicals production.

Opportunities: From AI to the IPO

The CEO fielded a variety of questions in the interview, ranging from the energy transition to Fourth Industrial Revolution investments to his own beginning at Aramco.

On Artificial Intelligence

Nasser noted that even on “simple things like drilling a well,” AI is critical as it allows an efficiency not available otherwise. “There are a lot of things enabled by AI today that is driving costs down and increasing efficiency,” he said.

On the IPO

The company’s initial public offering in 2019 has brought many positive things to the company, Nasser said. He noted the drive for increased transparency brought Aramco’s story more into view of the general public.

“Aramco was only known in cost and profitability, but other elements such as technology, safety, environment, reliability, efficiency, all of these things came to the surface, which was great,” he said.

On Venture Capital

The CEO highlighted the company’s $3.5 billion venture capital arm, as well as the Board’s recent approval of another $4 billion for investment in early-stage and late-stage startups.

“We think it will create a lot of value down the road for the company as we are venturing into new energies and new sectors, and diversifying the company,” he said.

On Leadership

Nasser said every leader needs a good team. “You need a strong team,” he said. “Making sure you have the right team that will definitely help the leader to achieve, to get where he’s envisioned the company should be at.”

He also praised Aramco employees, noting that in critical moments such as the 2019 attacks on facilities in Abqaiq, it was their training and professional response that helped contain the situation and allow the company to return to full production quickly.

“Their ability to respond is second to none and shows the dedication and level of training and development that they have.”

Amin Nasser

Walking the Talk

The CEO said sustainability is a priority for Aramco as it looks to reduce its carbon emissions through investment in solar, wind, renewable and alternatives such as hydrogen, carbon capture, eFuels, and more.

Nasser added that even beyond its various investments in alternatives, the company compares favorably in areas such as upstream carbon intensity and emissions.

“We walk the talk in terms of delivering on all of these,” he said. “We are for sustainability. We are striving for lowering carbon emissions.”

And this, combined with continued investment, aims to create value down the road for the company as it ventures into new energies and sectors, helping the company diversify.

— The Arabian Sun: January 25, 2024