Saudi Aramco has reached an agreement with Sempra LNG that should see it take a stake in a major US LNG project. Already the world’s largest crude oil exporter (MEES, 24 May), the kingdom is actively expanding its refining and petrochemicals capacity, and is now adding LNG to its bow. CEO Amin Nasser says the deal is “a major step forward in Saudi Aramco’s long-term strategy to become a leading global LNG player.”

There’s no better way to achieve this aim than entering the US LNG business. The US exported a record 20.7mn tons of LNG last year, placing it fourth behind Qatar (76.8mn tons), Australia (66.7mn t) and Malaysia (24.7mn t). With a raft of projects awaiting sanctioning, US exports are set to soar beyond 100mn t/y over the next 10 years. (CONTINUED - 1081 WORDS)