Saudi Aramco joins World Bank ‘zero flaring’ initiative

An Aramco employee walks near an oil tank at Saudi Aramco’s Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)
Updated 06 November 2019

Saudi Aramco joins World Bank ‘zero flaring’ initiative

  • Saudi Aramco has a strong focus on flaring reduction, which remained at less than 1 percent of its total raw gas production in the first half of 2019
  • The company’s low-flaring levels are a result of its decades-long focus on sustainability, including the development of the Kingdom’s Master Gas System in the 1970s

JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco announced on Wednesday that it is joining the “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” World Bank Initiative.

The company has a strong focus on flaring reduction, which remained at less than 1 percent of its total raw gas production in the first half of 2019.

Ahmad A. Al-Saadi, Saudi Aramco senior vice president, technical services, said: “We are proud to join the ‘Zero Routine Flaring by 2030’ initiative, which we view as an important global effort to eliminate flaring. We have been taking active steps to reduce flaring in our operations for the past 40 years and have invested in a range of flaring reduction technologies and programs to achieve our excellent performance.”

“Beyond this initiative, we are also investing in advanced technologies to enable greater efficiency and lower emissions in transport, carbon-free hydrogen fuels, and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). This is all part of our broader effort to enable the circular carbon economy and deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy to the world while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Saudi Aramco’s low-flaring levels are a result of its decades-long focus on sustainability, including the development of the Kingdom’s Master Gas System in the 1970s, rolling out a company-wide “flaring minimization roadmap,” using innovative flaring reduction technologies and establishing a fourth industrial revolution center that monitors all the company’s operations including flaring in real-time. 

In addition, and as a result of Saudi Aramco’s reservoir management best practices, flaring minimization and energy efficiency programs, the company’s 2018 upstream carbon intensity figure is among the lowest globally at 10.2 kilograms of CO2 equivalent per barrel of oil equivalent.

Launched in April 2015, the “zero flaring” initiative is a World Bank climate collaboration that brings together governments, oil and gas companies, and development institutions from around the world to eliminate routine flaring by 2030. More than 80 governments and organizations have joined the initiative, including the government of Saudi Arabia, which signed up in December 2018.


France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

Updated 08 December 2019

France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

  • Macron government will discuss a global digital tax with Washington at the OECD, says finance minister

PARIS: France is ready to go to the World Trade Organization to challenge US President Donald Trump’s threat to put tariffs on French goods in a row over a French tax on internet companies, its finance minister said on Sunday.

“We are ready to take this to an international court, notably the WTO, because the national tax on digital companies touches US companies in the same way as EU or French companies or Chinese. It is not discriminatory,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France 3 television. Paris has long complained about US digital companies not paying enough tax on revenues earned in France.

In July, the French government decided to apply a 3 percent levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by firms with more than €25 million in French revenue and €750 million ($845 million) worldwide. It is due to kick in retroactively from the start of 2019.

Washington is threatening to retaliate with heavy duties on imports of French cheeses and luxury handbags, but France and the EU say they are ready to retaliate in turn if Trump carries out the threat. Le Maire said France was willing to discuss a global digital tax with the US at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), but that such a tax could not be optional for internet companies.

“If there is agreement at the OECD, all the better, then we will finally have a global digital tax. If there is no agreement at OECD level, we will restart talks at EU level,” Le Maire said.

He added that new EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni had already proposed to restart such talks.

France pushed ahead with its digital tax after EU member states, under the previous executive European Commission, failed to agree on a levy valid across the bloc after opposition from Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

The new European Commission assumed office on Dec. 1.