Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, OPEC’s largest and third-largest oil and gas producers, are striving to become blue hydrogen and ammonia exporters as the two Gulf governments plan to increase oil production capacity while also establishing a sustainable energy brand.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas business, and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., the UAE’s largest energy producer, are leading their countries’ attempts to establish blue hydrogen and ammonia leadership positions.

Aramco, which currently produces 12 million barrels per day of oil, is aiming to increase that capacity by one million barrels per day in the near future, while ADNOC is aiming to increase its production capacity to 5 million barrels per day by 2030, up from around 4 million barrels per day currently.

“Ultimately this is about shifting with the times and meeting market demand for lower-carbon energy,” said Ben Cahill, senior fellow, Energy Security and Climate Change Program, at the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Aramco and ADNOC have huge absolute emissions — especially Aramco — but want to reduce emissions intensity and decarbonize operations as much as they can.”

Ahmed al-Khowaiter, Aramco’s chief technology officer, expects that by 2030, there will be enough hydrogen market demand for the business to meet on a global scale. Aramco has a goal volume of hydrogen it hopes to produce by then, but Khowaiter said the corporation will not reveal it publicly.

Nedim Husomanovic

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