Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer, remains “committed” to plans to build a 200,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) refinery in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan, the company’s chief executive, Khalid Al-Falih, said on Tuesday.
Aramco’s subsidiary, Aramco Overseas, signed a pact in March 2011 with top Chinese oil firm PetroChina on building the refinery, saying it planned to supply up to 200,000 bpd to the project through a long-term contract.
“We are committed to the Yunnan project and we will pursue it,” Al-Falih told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Beijing.
Asked if that meant supplying crude oil or investing in the construction of the refinery itself, Al-Falih said “both”.
Aramco hopes to play a role in China’s efforts to solve its energy needs, as the country’s oil demand is set to double by 2030, he added.
“Whatever the Chinese need in terms of oil, we are happy not only to supply, and also to invest here and convert it into products. This is our strategy.”
Saudi Arabia was China’s biggest crude oil supplier in 2012, delivering a total of 53.9 million tonnes, or 1.075 million bpd. Saudi crude shipments amounted to nearly a fifth of China’s total imports that year.