Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Shell beats Aramco in race to buy LNG business

Shell Aramco LNG Alamy/Piero Cruciatti
Attendees at a Shell gas trade fair stand. It has beaten Saudi rival Aramco to buy LNG company Pavilion Energy
  • Pavilion Energy acquired from Temasek
  • No financial details disclosed
  • Aramco keen to build LNG export business

Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil exporter, has lost out to UK rival Shell in its bid to buy Pavilion Energy, a Singapore trader of liquefied natural gas (LNG), from Temasek, the Asian island nation’s sovereign investment fund.

Both companies were shortlisted for a potential acquisition worth billions of dollars. No financial details of Shell’s successful offer have been disclosed, however.

Pavilion Energy’s business includes LNG trading, natural gas supply, bunkering, shipping, re-gasification and marketing – and includes access to the crucial Pacific Basin.

It has several long-term natural gas contracts to receive around 6.5 million tonnes per annum from producers including Chevron, BP and QatarEnergy.

The deal excludes Pavilion’s stake in a gas project in Tanzania.



Aramco hoped to advance its ambitions as a global LNG player, providing access to gas markets in Europe and Asia. The Saudi giant is striving to build an LNG business, to compete with regional rivals QatarEnergy and Adnoc.

Aramco aims to invest in LNG projects abroad after last year’s $500 million acquisition of a minority stake in a US-based MidOcean Energy.

Some analysts are optimistic on the outlook for LNG – although others are not. Shell expects global demand to rise by more than 50 percent by 2040, driven by demand mainly from Asia.

But Robin Mills of Qamar Energy believes: “the market is likely to be over-supplied in the late 2020s because of massive expansions in Qatar and the US”.

Aramco wants to build its natural gas production by more than 60 percent above 2021 levels by the end of the decade. This would be export driven, as its gas output is likely to exceed domestic needs. 

CEO Amin Nasser announced the new production target in March, during Aramco’s 2023 earning call.

To bolster its overseas expansion strategy, Aramco initiated talks in June with Tellurian and NextDecade, two US LNG producers.

It signed a non-binding heads of agreement with NextDecade for a 20-year LNG offtake deal from its Rio Grande facility.

Shell, the world’s leading LNG trader, sold 67 million tonnes last year, according to earnings statements. It plans to increase its purchases by 20 to 30 percent by 2030 compared with 2022 levels, as it believes natural gas will play a critical role in energy transition.

Latest articles

Saudi inflation June 2024. Clothing and footwear prices in Saudi Arabia were down 3.2 percent year on year in June, and 0.2 percent month on month

Non-oil discounting brings Saudi inflation down

Saudi Arabia’s year-on-year consumer inflation rate fell to a low of 1.5 percent as non-oil businesses competed over prices but the wholesale price index remained at a high of 3.2 percent, reflecting high prices globally.  The consumer price index was down from 2.7 percent in June 2023. The CPI was also down from the 1.6 […]

hasan al fardan

Fintechs having ‘no impact’, says remittances CEO

Fintechs are no threat to the UAE-based remittances company Al Fardan Exchange, its CEO Hasan Al Fardan has declared. Al Fardan said there was no intention to drop fees to compete with finance technology startups. To date, he said, fintechs have had “no material impact on our business or our operations. We are hitting record […]

Almost 300,000 European visitors contributed to Oman's hotel revenues growing by more than 10 percent

Oman hotel revenues increase more than 10%

Hotel revenues across Oman were up by more than 10 percent in the first five months of 2024, fuelled by an increasing number of Asian and European visitors to the sultanate. Three-to-five star hotels reported revenues of OR108 million ($281 million) at the end of May, the latest data from the National Centre for Statistics […]

Saudi fishing trawlers

Saudi fishing industry bolstered by support plan

Saudi Arabia’s fishing industry has landed a financial support programme from the government as part of plans to develop and safeguard the sector. Fish production in the kingdom increased 80 percent in 2023 year on year to 214,600 metric tonnes. The goal is to increase that by 7 percent to 230,000 tonnes this year. The […]