FILE PHOTO: The Logo of Saudi Aramco is seen at the 20th Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference (MOES 2017) in Manama, Bahrain, March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo
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Saudi Arabia and international oil companies have discussed gas venture opportunities inside the kingdom and abroad as part of the top crude-exporting country's drive to diversify investments before the listing of national energy giant Saudi Aramco. Saudi officials explored investment opportunities with firms including BP and Chevron to help develop its gas reserves, the world's sixth largest, at a time of booming energy demand at home, four industry sources told Reuters.Aramco has also looked into investing in gas ventures abroad, including with Italy's Eni, the sources said.Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, who is also Aramco's chairman, said last year that Aramco was interested in investing in international upstream ventures, particularly gas, and could invest in importing gas into the kingdom.The $25 billion gas initiative offered in 1997-98 had some of the world's top oil companies such as Exxon and Shell expressing interest but struggling to agree terms.Russia's Lukoil was the most recent foreign company to quit Saudi Arabia's search for gas.
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