Remarks by Khalid A. Al-Falih, President & CEO of Saudi Aramco
Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
At Saudi Aramco, we are committed to powering global economic development with adequate and affordable energy and a low carbon future. Better yet, we firmly believe that these era-defining objectives are not mutually exclusive.
We employ a multi-pronged strategy that addresses both the production of petroleum and its consumption:
- through an unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship beyond mere compliance;
- by instilling operational excellence all along the petroleum value chain;
- and, most critically, by leveraging innovation and technology.
When it comes to the production side of the equation, at Saudi Aramco we’ve already come a long way. Over the past four decades, we’ve reduced our CO2 footprint six-fold, despite rising activity levels; and we’ve reduced gas flaring to well below 1% of annual gas production today. Our multi-faceted efforts continue, as we are about to start a sizeable demonstration project for CO2 from one of our large industrial plants.
Looking at the consumption side, great progress has been made. Although the transport sector is responsible for only 13% of global greenhouse gas emissions, innovation and technology could make this even smaller. For example, hybrid vehicles are able to double the average miles per gallon. This is on top of ongoing efforts to increase the efficiency of conventional internal combustion and diesel engines.
For example, at Saudi Aramco, one of our principal R&D objectives is to achieve ground-breaking advancements in integrated engine-fuel systems to radically improve mileage efficiency and reduce emissions, working with the automotive industry. Our R&D has been extended further to prototype vehicles that capture CO2 on-board.
All of these efforts on both the production and consumption sides are backed by a fivefold increase in our R&D funding, while working collaboratively with like-minded partners. And these efforts are delivering real and lasting impact on our own economic and environmental bottom lines, with global implications.
And we are not alone in our industry. In fact, some of the world’s leading oil and gas companies have agreed to join forces in a historic Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which I announced earlier today at the Private Sector Forum Lunch. The Initiative serves as a platform to address key climate challenges, share industry best practices, and catalyze meaningful action and coordination on climate change. It is yet another example of how the oil and gas industry is positioning itself once again to be the key provider of solutions to global energy challenges.
Ladies and gentlemen, simultaneously delivering the environmental and economic dividends the world needs will not be easy. But in our view, a bottom-up, industry-led, private sector-funded approach including private-public partnerships – and with innovation and technology at its core – is the best way of delivering both.