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World’s Largest Oil Company Eyes Hydrogen Production With China

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Saudi Aramco has pushed development in the hydrogen space in recent months as oil giants look to a future powered less by fossil fuels and more by renewable sources.

“I think hydrogen has huge potential going forward in transportation and power generation,” Nasser said during a panel at CERAWeek by IHS Markit in early March.

The company shipped 40 tons of “blue” ammonia to Japan in October. Ammonia, a chemical made from nitrogen and hydrogen, is a way to store and ship hydrogen.

“Blue” hydrogen and ammonia come from natural gas, whose carbon emissions are captured and stored underground. But it still relies on a fossil fuel for production making it less environmentally friendly than “green” hydrogen which is made from renewable energy sources like water.

Aramco’s partnership with China goes beyond hydrogen and renewable energy.

“We see opportunities for further investments in integrated downstream projects to help meet China’s needs for heavy transport and chemicals, as well as lubricants and non-metallic materials,” Nasser said Sunday.

Oil prices tumbled in 2020 amid Covid-19 lockdowns around the world and even fell into negative territory for the first time in history. Despite the decline in profit, Saudi Aramco still plans to pay out $75 billion in annual dividends to its shareholders.

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