The Saudi Kingdom’s energy minister announced that a large deposit of natural gas has been found in the Red Sea off the country’s coast, and discussed potential energy projects abroad.
Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said that Saudi State energy company Aramco, the world’s largest energy company, discovered “large amounts of gas,” Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.
Aramco signed a deal last year with Shell to find opportunities in the natural gas market in order to make the kingdom’s economy less dependent on oil prices. The investment into the gas sector was reportedly carried out as a part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to diversify the kingdom’s economy.
Saudi Aramco has been eyeing projects in Russia, Australia, America and Africa to kick-start a global business in the liquefied form of the fuel. “Gas is a major market and we want to be one of the largest players,” Amin Nasser, the chief executive of Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil company, said in an interview to Bloomberg in London this February. “There’s appetite to invest in natural gas and LNG.”
Al-Kalid also reportedly discussed on Thursday Aramco’s aim to invest in a South African petrochemical project, alongside potential LNG project acquisitions in the United States.