Saudi Aramco Sees Oil Rising as Demand Catches Up With Supply

  • Oil price will not rise to 2013-2014 levels: Saudi Aramco CEO
  • Saudi company looking for more energy investments in China

Oil prices will increase by the end of this year but won’t rebound to levels reached in 2013 and 2014, according to Amin H. Nasser, president and chief executive officer of Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

Prices will gain as “the gap between supply and demand in the oil market is shrinking,” Nasser said at an event in Beijing on Monday. Oil exceeded $100 a barrel in 2013 and 2014 before dropping amid a global glut. Benchmark Brent crude was trading on Monday at $40.21 a barrel in London.

The world’s largest crude oil-producing company, known as Saudi Aramco, is looking to boost investments in the Chinese energy industry, he said.

“We furnish 20 percent of China’s crude oil imports – about one million barrels a day. But there’s a significant gap in what we are doing now, and what we can offer,” Nasser said. “Our investments in China’s entire oil value chain - integrating supply, refining, chemicals, lubes, distribution and marketing - don’t match our supply.”

Aramco plans to invest in Asian refineries to ensure the state-run company can expand sales in the fastest-growing region for fuel demand. It’s adding India to the list of Asian countries where the company intends to build refineries as part of a plan to almost double its global processing capacity, Nasser told Bloomberg in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, on March 9. Aramco is also considering plants in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The company already owns a stake in a refinery in China’s Fujian province along with Exxon Mobil Corp. and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. It’s still in talks with another partner, China National Petroleum Corp., to build a joint-venture refinery.

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