While President Donald Trump’s historic visit to Saudi Arabia and participation in bilateral and multilateral summits successfully strengthened Saudi-U.S. ties in areas of defense, counterterrorism and regional security, another major sector also benefited from the trip – oil and gas.
Saudi and U.S. companies in the oil and gas industry signed billions of dollars’ worth of deals during the trip during the Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum. The investments envisioned in the deals span from increasing digitization of Saudi Aramco’s business, offshore and onshore rig development and oil field services.
The deals come amidst plans in the Saudi government to sell 5 percent of Aramco – the IPO is widely expected to be the largest in the world.
In addition to the expected sale of the IPO, Aramco is looking to increase its business presence in the U.S. In May, Aramco took complete control over the largest U.S. refinery in Port Arthur, Texas.
Amin Nasser, Saudi Aramco’s chief executive, discussed the company’s plans to increase investment in the U.S. on the sidelines of the Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum.
“Through our investment there we are looking at the next 10 years for expansion in the U.S. and identifying greater opportunities for growth…We are looking at both refining and petrochemicals,” Nasser told Reuters.
Aramco signed agreements with a number of U.S. companies, including General Electric. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the two companies to jumpstart a digital transformation of Aramco’s operations, aimed at ultimately generating productivity improvements.
Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum, Oil and Gas Deals Strengthened Economic Cooperation
The inaugural Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum convened in Riyadh on May 20, 2017, bringing together nearly 100 Saudi and U.S. business leaders. Saudi Vision 2030 enabled Saudi businesses and entrepreneurs to explore potential partnerships and investment opportunities previously untapped by the two countries.
Deals in the oil industry demonstrate the commitment of Saudi businesses to work to expand bilateral ties in the economic sphere.
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