Saudi Aramco is more than doubling funding to its venture capital arm by injecting an additional $4 billion funding, the Saudi state oil giant said on Wednesday.
The fresh funding will raise Aramco’s total investment allocation to its unit Aramco Ventures from $3 billion to $7 billion.
The decision to more than double funds allocation to the venture capital arm reflects “the growing significance of Aramco’s venture capital program in enabling the development of disruptive new technologies, creating diversification opportunities for Aramco, and paving the way for collaborations with innovative start-ups,” said the Saudi oil giant, which is the world’s top oil firm in terms of both market capitalization and production.
The venture capital program is expected to help advance Aramco’s long-term strategy, which includes a focus on new energies, chemicals, and transition materials, diversified industrial businesses, and digital technologies.
“Innovation is key to addressing some of the fundamental challenges facing the world today, including the energy transition,” Ahmad Al Khowaiter, Aramco Executive Vice President of Technology & Innovation, said in a statement.
“By injecting an additional $4 billion in funding over the next four years, we intend to provide the financial backing required to take game-changing solutions to the next level.”
Before the new funds injection, Aramco Ventures managed three funds-a Digital/Industrial Fund of $500 million, the Prosperity7 Fund with $1 billion, and the Sustainability Fund, which stood at $1.5 billion and invests in start-ups with the potential to support Aramco’s ambition to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions across its wholly-owned and operated assets by 2050.
Still, Aramco continues to believe that oil and gas will be needed for decades to come and hasn’t given up on its goal to pump the world’s last barrel of oil.
The debates on the energy transition should be on how to cut emissions, not on reducing oil and gas production, Aramco’s chief executive Amin Nasser has said.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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