Saudi Aramco Signs U.S. LNG Deal, Eyes Global Market Including Pakistan, India

Aramco doesn’t currently produce LNG; Its trading arm sold its first LNG cargo on the spot market in late March to an Indian buyer; In April an Aramco team was in Islamabad for talks on what would be its first ever LNG shipments.

BE2C2 Report — Saudi Aramco has entered into a 20-year agreement with U.S.-based Sempra Energy to purchase liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its subsidiary Sempra LNG, the two companies said on Wednesday.

The Saudi state oil giant plans to become a major global gas player while the U.S. market is undergoing a shale boom.

Aramco has been developing its own gas resources and eyeing gas assets in the United States, Russia, Australia and Africa.

The two companies are also finalizing a 25% equity investment in the phase 1 of Port Arthur LNG, they said in a joint statement.

The proposed Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 project is expected to include two liquefaction trains, up to three LNG storage tanks and associated facilities which should enable the export of about 11 mtpa on a long-term basis.

“Port Arthur LNG could be one of the largest LNG export projects in North America, with potential expansion capabilities of up to eight liquefaction trains or approximately 45 mtpa of capacity,” the statement said.

Aramco’s trading arm sold its first LNG cargo on the spot market in late March to an Indian buyer, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The Saudi giant’s team was in Islamabad last month for talks on what would be its first ever liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments, a top Pakistani official told Reuters.

“They’re discussing LNG sales. They’re entering this business,” said
Nadeem Babar, the head of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s task force on energy reforms. “Aramco is starting an LNG trade operation, and we are in discussion over all aspects, including terms and quantity, etc.”

Aramco doesn’t currently produce LNG, and any such direct sale would be first of its kind. 

Aramco in January signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pakistan for the construction of a multi-billion dollar oil refinery in Gwadar.

BE2C2   Report is a data journalism initiative of Irshad Salim Associates, a New Jersey, USA, based consulting firm –in association with BE2C2 in Pakistan