‘The worst is behind us’: Aramco CEO

Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser, this year’s winner of the annual Chemists’ Club Kavaler award. (Supplied)
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Updated 04 December 2020

‘The worst is behind us’: Aramco CEO

  • Amin Nasser points to oil industry recovery after accepting prestigious chemists’ award

RIYADH: The oil industry is recovering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and “the worst is behind us,” Saudi Aramco’s President and CEO, Amin Nasser, told an award ceremony in Riyadh on Thursday.

“April was by far the worst month for our industry when oil demand fell. Such a massive drop was never seen at any time in the industry. But I believe the worst is behind us. At this moment there is a recovery taking place,” Nasser said after he was announced as this year’s winner of the annual Chemists’ Club Kavaler award.

The award, which recognizes Nasser’s work in the petrochemical industry, was presented at a virtual event on Dec. 3 and included a discussion with the official about Aramco’s strategy, outlook and key industry trends.

Accepting the award, Nasser praised Saudi Aramco’s employees, saying he wanted to share the prestige with them.

“I am proud to accept this award on behalf of the thousands of men and women of Saudi Aramco who are showing great determination and resilience in a year that has been unlike any in our lifetime. This is definitely their award, too,” he said.

During the fireside chat, Nasser spoke about projects currently underway at Saudi Aramco.

“Despite COVID-19 and all its challenges, our work is going on at Aramco. We have continued to pursue our long-term strategy to be a bigger player in chemicals, to projects here in the Kingdom and around the world. In fact, the progress we have made is just the beginning of a major transformation positioning Aramco for the future,” he said.

In a statement ahead of the ceremony, Joseph Chang, global editor of the ICIS Chemical Business publication, praised Nasser for his achievements.

“Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser has made huge advances in petrochemicals with the $69 billion acquisition of SABIC, the construction of mega-projects worldwide and the development of crude oil-to-chemicals technology. The level of project activity for Aramco is unprecedented for any company. Its global ambitions and investments in petrochemicals will create waves in the industry for years to come,” he said.

The Chemists’ Club, a private organization in New York, offers memberships to research and industrial chemists working in all areas.

The Kavaler prize, presented for the first time to a recipient outside Europe and North America, was awarded for “outstanding achievement.”

Profitability, innovation, acquisition activity, and commitment to environmental and social issues are taken into consideration when choosing the recipient.

Voting is carried out by the recipient’s peers in the ICIS Top 40 Power Players, a global ranking of industry leaders making the greatest positive impact published in ICIS Chemical Business magazine.

Previous winners include LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel, BASF CEO Kurt Bock, Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe, former Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, former LyondellBasell CEO Jim Gallogly, and former PPG CEO Charles Bunch.


Emirates stops flights to three major Australian cities

Updated 16 January 2021

Emirates stops flights to three major Australian cities

  • Flights to/from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne will be suspended until further notice: Emirates
  • The airline will still run two flights a week to Perth

DUBAI: Emirates has suspended flights to Australia's three largest cities as the country further restricts international arrivals over fears of new virus strains.
The Dubai-based carrier was one of the last to maintain routes into and out of the country's east coast throughout most of the pandemic but on Friday evening told travellers a handful of planned flights next week would be the last.
"Due to operational reasons, Emirates flights to/from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne will be suspended until further notice," Emirates said on its website.
The airline will still run two flights a week to Perth, but the cuts are another barrier for tens of thousands of stranded Australians still attempting to return home.
The Australian government responded by announcing more repatriation flights and said other carriers still flying services to the cities could fill the gap.
"The capacity that Emirates was able to use within the cap will be allocated to other airlines, ensuring that there are still as many tickets, as many seats available into Australia," Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said.
A small number of airlines - including Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines - are still running services to Australia but local media were already reporting delays and cancellations among returning travellers.
Australia's borders have effectively been closed since March to curb the spread of the virus, with the government even limiting the number of citizens allowed to return.
Last week travel restrictions were further tightened, with arrival numbers slashed and all travellers into the country requiring a negative Covid-19 test before flying.
In making the changes, Prime Minister Scott Morrison cited a growing number of people in quarantine testing positive for new strains of Covid-19.
Fears that a variant of the virus from Britain, believed to be more contagious, had leaked into Brisbane from hotel quarantine triggered a snap lockdown in the city last week.
"There are many unknowns and uncertainties in relation to the new strain, and so that's why this precautionary approach, we believe, is very sensible," Morrison said.
Australia continues to deal relatively well with the virus, having recorded about 28,600 cases and 909 deaths linked to Covid-19 in a population of 25 million.