A new center for petroleum studies being constructed in Riyadh will conduct highly advanced studies in the fields of energy and the environment, said Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi.

The Minister’s statement came during a speech delivered on his behalf by the ministry’s consultant, Abdulrahman Al-Abdulkarim, during the 2010 Oil and Natural Gas Conference held at the King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran.

King Abdullah Center for Oil Research is a non-profit organization runs by a board of trustees, Al-Abdulkarim said in delivering the speech.

The center, advised by an international consultancy team, will develop an international collaboration network through global research partnership to contribute to the fields of energy, the environment, and the economy.

“The center’s mission is to increase Saudi Arabia’s investments in energy, beyond oil exploration and production, through motivated Saudi youth with good critical-thinking and analytical skills in the oil industry and market,” he said.

The speech emphasized the Kingdom’s push for clean energy as a priority for the oil industry, citing the Clean Combustion Research Center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

A key goal of the center is to develop simple, cost-effective processes for supplying clean energy by combustion, partial oxidation or other means relying on chemical energy conversion.

The Aramco Research and Development Center also conducts pioneering studies on oil exploration and production, the minister said, praising Aramco’s 100th patent.

Chevron Corp. the second-largest US energy company, has launched a pilot project to boost production by injecting steam into an oil field shared between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, which the company described as “promising,” the minister said.

Chevron is trying to boost production from the Wafra field in the Neutral Zone shared between the two countries by as much as 600,000 barrels a day once the new method for injecting steam is applied on a large scale.

The company has also started constructing a high-tech center for heavy crude at Saud Port to help support the project and transfer the expertise to Saudi workers, the Minister said.