Saudi Arabia's state oil giant announced plans Wednesday to purchase gas from Sempra Energy's planned Port Arthur LNG project in Texas and hopes to buy a 25% equity stake in the development's first phase.
Why it matters: It's a big step in Saudi Aramco's push to diversify its business lines beyond crude oil, and a sign of intense interest in the growing U.S. LNG sector.
- Exports are rising and a number of companies are planning new projects amid record U.S. gas production and growing global thirst for the fuel.
Where it stands: The companies are negotiating a 20-year deal for Aramco to buy 5 million metric tons annually from the project, according to the release.
What they're saying: Aramco CEO Amin Nasser noted in the statement that global LNG demand is slated to rise by 4% annually and said Aramco will "continue to pursue strategic partnerships" in the sector.
- He called the Sempra deal a "major step" in Aramco's efforts to become a global LNG player.