Saudi Aramco remains committed to China’s long-term energy security and seeks to be a “partner of first resort” in its economic development journey, President and CEO Amin H Nasser said.

“It is equally clear to us that, with China’s emphasis on high-quality development, even greater investment and cooperation opportunities are emerging,” he said in a speech at the China Development Forum 2024.

He added that China has a vitally important place in Aramco’s global investment strategy, with the Saudi oil major among the leading direct investors in China last year.

“But we are not mere investors, and China is not just a market to us. We want to be a partner of first resort in China’s economic development journey, as new opportunities clearly come into focus,” Nasser said.

The CEO said the doubling of the funding for Aramco’s venture capital arm to $7.5 billion aims to focus on industrial innovation, disruptive technologies and promoting sustainability. 

“So, there are attractive opportunities for China and Aramco to join hands in all these areas,” he said.

China has distinct strengths in renewables and critical materials, while Aramco and Saudi Arabia are clearly interested in solar, wind, hydrogen, and electrofuels.

“These areas have great long-term potential, and combining our strengths could match our ambitions,” Nasser said.

Earlier this month, Aramco said net profit fell to $121.3 billion in 2023 from a record $161.1 billion in 2022 on lower oil prices.

Reuters also quoted Nasser stating that the oil giant was looking at further opportunities to invest in China, where oil demand was robust and growing.

(Writing by Seban Scaria )