Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi spent most of the past week in Asia, where he presided over his last board meeting as Chairman of Saudi Aramco in Seoul before heading to Beijing, where he made a strong pitch for a deeper energy relationship with China. Saudi Arabia is hoping to double exports to China. It wants to expand its downstream presence with an offer to help upgrade China’s refineries.

Both Mr Naimi and outgoing Saudi Aramco CEO Khalid al-Falih (see p12) have been on a charm offensive in China, which imports an average 1mn b/d of Saudi crude. Mr Naimi says the kingdom is ready to supply more oil to China, an apparent bid to secure a larger chunk of the market before Iran’s potential return from international sanctions (see p2). (CONTINUED - 1416 WORDS)