Saudi Aramco or the Saudi Arabian Oil Group, is a Saudi Arabian public company, whose operational expertise lies in the field of petroleum and natural gas. As of 2022, the venture holds the rank of the world’s second-largest company by revenue, as it has dominated media headlines by repeatedly achieving the largest annual profits in global corporate history.
Saudi Aramco has both the world’s second-largest proven crude oil reserves, at over 270 billion barrels (43 billion cubic metres) and the largest daily oil production tally among all oil-producing companies.
Saudi Aramco, established in 1933, is currently operating the world’s largest single hydrocarbon network, the Master Gas System (which came online in 1982 to transport associated gas from the Ghawar oil field to support the Kingdom’s industrialization). In 2013, Aramco’s total crude oil production reached the tally of 3.4 billion barrels, and in 2022, the venture was producing 13.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (mmboed), including 11.5 million barrels per day (mmbpd) of total liquids, from its over 100 oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabia, including 288.4 trillion standard cubic feet (scf) of natural gas reserves.
As per the stats, between 1998 and 2021, Saudi Arabia saw its oil production volume increase by 2.6 million barrels per day, and peaked at 12.4 million barrels per day in 2016. Aramco was the guiding force behind these efforts.
Two of Saudi Aramco’s most prominent oil fields are located in the Kingdom’s eastern part, in the form of the Ghawar (world’s largest onshore oil field) and the Safaniya (world’s largest offshore oil field).
On 11 December 2019, Aramco made its debut at the Saudi Tadawul stock exchange. During the initial moments, the shares rose to 35.2 Saudi riyals, thus giving it a market capitalisation of about USD 1.88 trillion, while surpassing the USD 2 trillion mark on the second day of trading.
In the 2023 Forbes Global 2000, Saudi Aramco was ranked as the world’s second-largest public company.
The guiding force behind Aramco’s steady market rise is its 65-year-old President and CEO Amin Hassan Nasser, who took up the leadership role on a permanent basis in September 2015.
Who Is Amin Hassan Nasser?
- Born in 1958, Amin Hassan Nasser has a Bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran
- He also completed the Saudi Aramco Management Development Seminar in Washington, DC in 1999; the Saudi Aramco Global Business Program in 2000; and the Senior Executive Program at Columbia University in 2002
- Amin Hassan Nasser’s stint with Saudi Aramco started in 1982 as an engineer in the oil production department, following which he went on to work in the venture’s drilling and reservoir wing
- In 1997, he became the manager of the Ras Tanura Producing Department, following which he took on leadership roles in the Northern Area Production Engineering Department and the Safaniya Aramco.com Offshore and Onshore Producing Departments
- In 2004, Amin Hassan Nasser was appointed as Aramco’s Chief Petroleum Engineer and became the Senior Vice-President of the Saudi energy giant’s upstream operations in 2008
- Amin Hassan Nasser, who is the fourth Saudi national to head the company, became Aramco’s Acting President and CEO in May 2015, and was made permanent in September 2015
- His leadership also saw Aramco facing drone and missile attacks on its facilities in September 2019. Yemeni Houthis were behind the incident, which led to two of Aramco’s eastern facilities facing repair-like situations, cutting Saudi’s oil production by about half, thus leading to the destabilization of global financial markets
- Amin Hassan Nasser also led the company’s entry into the global debt and capital markets with its first bond issuance
- He oversaw Aramco’s 2019 IPO in which it became the world’s most valuable listed company, and resulted in its acquisition of Saudi petrochemicals giant SABIC in 2020
- Amin Hassan Nasser was honoured with the ICIS Kavaler Award in 2020, thereby recognizing his achievements in the field of petrochemicals
- He also led the counter-argument in 2021 against the activists and research groups advocating for fossil fuel companies to become greener. He warned countries against divesting in fossil fuels, stating the move would result in inflation
- Amin Hassan Nasser is also a member of the not-for-profit organization called the ‘Society of Petroleum Engineers’ and has served the body’s Industry Advisory Council since 2008
- He is also handling membership responsibilities in the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council, the JPMorgan International Advisory Council, and the MIT President CEO Advisory Board
- Amin Hassan Nasser is also a member of the International Advisory Board (IAB) of the Dhahran-based King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, apart from being on the Board of Trustees of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)
- In July 2023, Amin Hassan Nasser was appointed to the board of investment management company BlackRock
Amin Hassan Nasser’s View On Saudi-China Future Ties
“Saudi Aramco aims to play a key role at the heart of China’s long-term energy security and high-quality development,” Amin Hassan Nasser remarked during the China Development Forum in Beijing, which happened in March 2023.
Saudi Aramco will reportedly expand its oil production capacity to 13 million barrels per day by 2027 while increasing gas production by over 50% by 2030 to fuel China’s energy security.
“We are also working on solutions such as advanced carbon capture and storage (CCS) and circular carbon economy technologies. Furthermore, we recently launched a USD 1.5 billion venture capital sustainability fund to invest in advanced technologies to help us move closer to a net-zero emissions future,” he said.
“We want to be an all-inclusive source of energy and chemicals for China’s long-term energy security and China’s high-quality development. That is why we are doubling down on China’s energy supply, including new lower carbon products, chemicals and advanced materials, all supported by emissions reduction technologies,” Amin Hassan Nasser concluded.