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ENERGY SECURITY - Saudi Aramco ramps up investment to boost production - Analysis

ENERGY SECURITY - Saudi Aramco ramps up investment to boost production - Analysis
By Iain Fraser - Consultant Geopolitical Editor 

The war in Ukraine and a reluctance to rely on Russia for energy has added to the pressure to find additional sources of energy. The EU has already announced a plan to slash Russian gas imports this year by two-thirds - In its plan, the EU said the bloc could become fully independent of Russian gas, oil and coal by 2030.

The UKs Boris Johnson flew to the UAE then on to Riyadh (Wednesday, 16 March 2022) for discussions with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [MBS] on oil supplies hoping the Gulf state can increase its production of fuel - in a bid to end Europe´s dependency on Russian energy - on the back of this the state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco plans to sharply increase the amount it invests in energy production, after it reported a doubling of profits in 2021. [See "ENERGY SECURITY: UK PM Johnson to fly to Middle East amid Russia/Ukraine Invasion"

Meanwhile Germany has agreed a gas deal with Qatar to reduce dependence on Russia.
Germany has sought to reduce its energy dependence on Russia since Moscow invaded Ukraine.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy and Qatar have reached what is being termed as a "long-term energy partnership" as it too seeks to become less dependent on Russian energy sources, currently its largest supplier of gas. This is one of several initiatives devised to lessen Germany’s energy dependence. 

Saudi Aramco's move is likely to be welcomed by political leaders worried about the impact of high energy prices, although the boost to investment is aimed at increasing output over the course of the next five to eight years.

Saudi Arabia is the largest producer in the oil cartel OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and by raising production it could help to reduce energy prices which are currently at 14-year highs.

However, the country has been condemned for a range of human rights abuses: its involvement in the conflict in neighbouring Yemen, the murder in 2018 of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, for jailing dissidents and for widespread use of capital punishment culminating in the execution of 81 people last week - the largest ever mass execution in the kingdoms history. Learn More - Register Free to receive the full analysis direct to your inbox or smart device. 

Image Credit: Robin Sommer

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