The world hoped to ‘crucify us’ as top liquids exporters, Saudi energy minister says

SHARM EL SHEIKH– The world was hoping to “crucify” Saudi Arabia as the top exporter of liquids, its energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Friday at an event held on the sidelines of the COP27 summit in Egypt.

Setting out what he said were Saudi Arabia’s steps to produce cleaner energy and reduce its carbon footprint, he said the kingdom would be watching the performance of other countries.

“The world is hoping to crucify us,” he said, adding: “We will make the world accountable to us on what they deliver because we want people to match us and we want to make sure people put their money where their mouthes are.”

Saudi Arabian state oil producer Aramco (2222.SE) has the lowest methane emissions by any measure, he added, saying the kingdom is also on track to reach net-zero by 2060 and may bring the target forward.

“I have to remind people it is all contingent on technology,” the minister said.

“We believe that date hopefully can be brought earlier but I just want to make sure that when we commit we deliver but our hope is to deliver ahead of time.”

The kingdom is also on track for delivering its carbon capture targets of 44 million tonnes by 2035, he said.

Saudi Aramco signed a joint development agreement in partnership with the energy ministry on Thursday to establish a carbon capture and storage hub potentially able to safely store up to 9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by 2027.

Environmental critics tend to be wary of carbon capture on the grounds industry can use it to justify the continued use of fossil fuels, and warn of the risk of leaks.

Saudi Arabia is also working on clean hydrogen production and aims to be the lowest-cost producer.

“If we produce the blue hydrogen we will be the lowest-cost producer and if we go for green hydrogen, we will still be the low-cost producer,” Prince Abdulaziz said.