Saudi Aramco President and Chief Executive Officer Abdallah Jum'ah has urged expansion of refining capacity in oil-producing countries in order to ensure the world's energy future. The CEO was giving a keynote address on Tuesday in Houston, Texas, at the annual conference of the Cambridge Energy Research Association (CERA) under the theme ‘Rising to the Challenge: Securing the Energy Future’. The conference, from February 14-18, is being attended by over 1,500 top energy executives, policymakers and energy analysts from some 50 countries.
Mr. Jum'ah also called for greater global cooperation in improving environmental technologies as well as in increasing upstream investment, especially in petroleum-related infrastructure such as pipelines and terminals, and the safe movement of oil through strategic shipping channels and sea-lanes. Predicting that petroleum will maintain its importance for the foreseeable future, he reiterated Saudi Aramco’s commitment to ensuring that oil supplies are available when needed. The international oil trade, he said, will increase substantially over the coming decades, contributing to an increasingly inter-connected global marketplace, and called for pragmatic and more balanced energy policies that do not discriminate against oil in favor of competing sources of energy.
Saudi Arabia currently has eight refineries, with a combined crude throughput of about 2 million barrels per day. No new refineries have been built in the United States in nearly three decades.