Addressing the climate challenge


For some, the idea of an oil and gas company positively contributing to the climate challenge is a contradiction. We don’t think so.

As a world-leading energy business, we are uniquely qualified to make effective contributions to the overall solution.

Our contributions to the climate challenge are tangible expressions of our ethos, supported by company policies, of conducting our business in a way that addresses the climate challenge.

The challenge is to meet the world’s energy needs while managing emissions. We are answering this by focusing on:

Carbon intensity

We believe the key to combating climate change is to focus on reducing emissions as well as implementing abatement measures such as natural sinks that absorb CO2.

Meeting global emissions reduction targets requires the prompt and coordinated action of governments, the business community, NGOs, and individuals to all play an active part in helping to curtail rising levels of green house gas emissions.

Sustaining low carbon intensity crude oil

A study conducted in 2017 and published in early 2018 in Nature Energy examined the well-to-refinery carbon intensity of all crude oil grades supplied to the Chinese market, including those imported or produced locally.

In crude oil production and processing, carbon intensity is a measure of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with producing a barrel of oil from the well to the refinery. The study examined crude oil grades supplied from over 100 oil fields in 20 countries and concluded that Saudi Arabian crude oils have the lowest carbon intensity.

The low carbon intensity advantage of Saudi Arabian crude oil is a result of multiple factors, including our long-standing practices in well completion, reservoir management, and flare minimization.

For example, technologies such as mobility geosteering, multilateral wells with smart completions, and peripheral water flooding, have led to low water production per barrel relative to the depletion stage of the reservoir, which directly translates to lower energy requirements to process and recycle water, and consequently reduces our greenhouse gas emissions in oil production and processing.

At Saudi Aramco, we believe that continued investments in further reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of crude oil and its derivatives will reap benefits for energy producers and consumers alike.

Lowest carbon intensity
A 2017 study published by Nature Energy examined crude oil grades supplied from over 100 oil fields in 20 countries and concluded that Saudi Arabian crude oils have the lowest carbon intensity.

Flaring reduction

Since 1980, we’ve been recovering previously flared gas — resulting in significant greenhouse gas emissions avoidance. By installing flare gas recovery systems, establishing stringent guidelines, and tracking key performance indicators, our flaring intensity remains at less than 1% of our annual gas production.

We continue to progress towards our eventual goal of zero routine flaring. As part of our Flaring Minimization Program, we have completed the installation of multiple flare gas recovery systems, including at our onshore Safaniyah facilities. 

Research and development

Our research and development programs address four areas of strategic importance:

  • sustaining low carbon intensity crude oil
  • growing non-fuel applications for crude oil
  • advancing sustainable transport
  • driving high-impact solutions

These emissions-reducing technologies enable higher transport efficiency, cost effectiveness of CCUS (carbon capture, utilization and storage), and low carbon intensity in our operations.

To address these areas we are harnessing the power of the Fourth Industrial Revolution with technologies that include big data, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence. For example, our Engineering Solutions Center combines operational data, advanced analytics, and in-house technologies and expertise to monitor company energy consumption and achieve near zero flaring intensity. 

The technologies we are developing — particularly if adopted on a global scale — have the potential to make game-changing contributions to the reduction of emissions from the production and use of hydrocarbon energy sources.

We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by focusing our research, development, and funding on high impact technologies that reduce cost and create significant environmental advantages.

Amin H. Nasser, President and CEO, Saudi Aramco

Impactful collaborations

We have joined forces with public and private institutions around the world to accelerate the development of cost-effective and scalable emission-reducing technologies that make significant contributions to the climate challenge.

We are working closely with industry partners through the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) to speed development of carbon capture and storage technologies and other GHG solutions.

Over the next decade, OGCI members – composed of 10 global oil and gas companies accounting for one-fifth of the world’s oil and gas production – have each pledged an investment of $100 million to OGCI Climate Investments (OGCI CI). OGCI CI will develop and accelerate the commercial deployment of innovative, low-emission technologies.

Our intent to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions while helping provide the energy the world needs is illustrated by our founding membership of the OGCI.

$ 1 billion+
OGCI Climate Investments of $1 billion+ fund invests in accelerating decarbonization in oil and gas, industry and commercial transport
$7B each year
OGCI members collectively invest more than $7B each year in low carbon solutions
The 10 OGCI members produce more than one-fifth of oil and gas globally, and together have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a significant scale.