Saudi Arabia is planning to buy large volumes of American natural gas for the first time, signaling a new strategy for its state-owned company Saudi Aramco and the growing importance of the United States as an energy exporter.
Saudi Arabian Oil Co; Aramco, said Wednesday it would buy 5 million tons of liquid natural gas per year from Sempra Energy, based in San Diego. Aramco also will make a 25% equity investment in an LNG export facility under development in Port Arthur, Texas, as part of the deal.
The agreement is a major step forward in Aramco’s long-term strategy to become a global LNG player, said Amin Nasser, the company’s CEO. “With global demand for LNG expected to grow by around 4% per year … we see significant opportunities in this market and we will continue to pursue strategic partnerships which enable us to meet rising global demand for LNG,” Nasser said .