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Aramco has plans to increase its natural gas production by 64 percent from the current 14 Bcf daily to 23 Bcf, the company’s chief executive officer, Amin Nasser, said at an industry event in Dubai as quoted by S&P Global Platts.
Natural gas is among Aramco’s top priorities for the future along with downstream crude oil operations with a particular focus on petrochemicals.
The company will invest some US$160 billion in raising its natural gas production, Nasser said, as part of a larger US$500-billion investment program for the next decade. Natural gas production capacity will be boosted to 25 Bcf.
The company will pursue both conventional gas developments and unconventional ones, the executive also said. Earlier this year, Aramco began production of unconventional gas at the North Arabia field. Production from the field was seen to ramp up from the initial 55 million cu ft per day to 190 million cu ft per day by the end of this year.
As part of its gas plans, Aramco earlier this month signed a joint exploration and production agreement with Adnoc, covering both natural gas and LNG. Under the terms of the deal the two companies will look into LNG investment opportunities, the companies said at the time.
Nasser yesterday said Aramco had allocated total investments of US$500 billion for its international expansion and diversification over the next ten years. Besides the US$160 billion earmarked for natural gas, the company would also set aside US$100 billion for growing its petrochemical business, on top of the US$70 billion Aramco is expected to pay for a majority stake in Saudi petrochemicals major Sabic.
The company also plans to boost its refining capacity to 8-10 million barrels daily, the chief executive also said, to “create a better balance between our upstream and downstream segments."
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.