Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, said the company is looking to expand its investments in the downstream oil sector in China, Malaysia, India, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Speaking at the China Development Forum in Beijing, Nasser said that Saudi Arabia provides China’s Belt and Road initiative, which aims to establish a large Asia-Europe economic zone, with an ideal platform for prosperous trade between the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Saudi Aramco is partnering with Development Research Center, China’s leading think tank, to study further cooperation in the Belt and Road’s economic, trade and energy arenas.
“Among other commonalities, both China and the kingdom are traveling towards knowledge-based innovation driven economies. Our close alignment on new business models and prudent reforms makes us ideal partners on this journey and in fact I see similar paths that can speed us toward our destination,” he said.
Despite the recent downturn in crude oil prices, Nasser said that Saudi Aramco will continue to invest in the oil industry’s upstream and downstream segments. He expects crude oil prices to start recovering by the end of 2016, although it is unlikely to reach the same high levels of past years.
“The gap between supply and demand is shrinking,” Nasser said. “It is our estimate that by the end of the year, the price will start to adjust upward,” he said.