IB Times
IB TimesReuters file

State-run Saudi Arabian oil company Saudi Aramco is exploring joint ventures in countries such as India, Indonesia, China, the U.S. and Vietnam to expand globally. The company's expansion plans come even as Saudi Arabia is revamping its energy sector to meet the challenges arising out of falling crude oil prices.

"We are looking at the current market status that, even though challenging, is an excellent opportunity for growth," Amin Nasser, chief executive of Saudi Aramco, told reporters during a rare media visit to the company's facility in Dhahrun in Damam city,  Reuters reported.

Saudi Arabia also plans to sell about five percent in Saudi Aramco through an initial public offering (IPO), the agency added.  

Saudi Aramco currently has a capacity to produce 9.5 million barrels per day (bpd) and exports about 2.5 billion crude oil annually. 

In a bid to balance crude oil quality and compensate for maturing oil fields, the company plans to increase its Shaybah oilfield's capacity by 250,000 bpd to 1 million bpd. During summer, the West Asian country burns oil in power plants because air conditioning usage increases.

In addition, Naseer said the Saudi state-run oil company expects global demand to grow by 1.2 million barrels per day this year, the Financial Times reports.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman said that the Arab nation could increase oil output to more than 11 million barrels per day since its arch rival Iran is still struggling to recover its lost share in the market after sanctions were lifted.

"Whatever the call on Aramco, we will take it," FT quoted Naseer as saying.

In a presentation, Saudi Aramco also said that its upcoming ship repair and shipbuilding complex in Ras al-Khair would create 80,000 jobs and reduce the country's imports by $12 billion, Reuters said. 

Ras al-Khair