Aramco Eager to Develop Shale, Tight Gas to Meet Saudi Demand

The world’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Aramco, wants to develop unconventional gas resources in order to reduce the burning of crude for power generation, a company official said.

Back in September, chief executive Khalid al-Falih said that the kingdom could hold hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of unconventional resources such as shale gas, more than doubling its proved reserves of 280,000bn cubic feet.

The company is still in the early stages of assessing the kingdom’s resources but is “very keen on developing it,” said Brian Gratto, manager for exploration resource assessment at Aramco.

Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf oil producers are boosting power supplies to meet the demands of growing economies and populations. They are also looking for ways to use less of their valuable crude as fuel for power stations.

“Aramco wants to add 5 billion standard cubic feet per day of gas,” Gratto said. “This is not something that Aramco want to do over 10 years time or more because by then we would have burned more crude oil at power stations that we can sell abroad for higher gains.”

Aramco will also venture into developing tight gas held between rocks.  Aramco is now seeking the help of international partners in order to develop its tight gas resources, according to Amin Nasser, Saudi Aramco’s senior vice president for upstream.

“We will start with a small scale shale and tight gas recovery of about 300 million cubic feet per day, and then move from there to 5 billion cubic feet per day,” Gratto said.

Other Saudi Aramco projects include a partnership with ExxonMobil for a $4.5 billion refining and petrochemical complex in China’s Fujian province.

Source: Bloomberg



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