In a confidential project Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco), the world’s largest crude oil exporter, is to set up a venture capital company to invest in international start-ups which look to develop new drilling technologies.
The investment company will start operating soon, mainly looking to develop and gain access to the latest techniques, expertise, and technology for boosting the oil production output at older fields, and the use of hydraulic fracturing to speed up the extraction of crude oil.
Amin Nasser, the Senior Vice President for Upstream Operations, said that investment into new drilling and extraction techniques is increasingly essential for Saudi Aramco, as it looks to increase the production levels from existing fields, and access hard-to-reach reserves of unconventional oil and gas.
The venture capital company will work in conjunction with five new technology research centres that Aramco are opening in North America, Europe, and China.
As well as new techniques for producing oil and natural gas, the venture capital firm will also invest in renewable energy sources such as solar power, in an attempt to give the oil major a footing in the renewable energy market that is bound to surpass the fossil fuel market in the future.
Saudi Aramco set up a similar investment firm for domestically financing small to mid-sized Saudi business. The Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Centre Co. has already invested $200 million dollars this year.