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Saudi Arabia Makes Two Natural Gas Discoveries

Saudi Arabia has struck gas at two fields in the Empty Quarter, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the Saudi energy ministry.

"Natural gas was also discovered in five reservoirs in previously discovered fields," the Saudi Press Agency also said, citing Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman.

At the Al-Hiran field, gas flowed at a rate of 30 million cubic feet daily. At the Al-Mahakik field, the gas flow was smaller, at 0.85 million cubic feet daily.

Arab News reported, meanwhile, that at one of the new gas discoveries at producing fields gas flowed at 46 million cubic feet daily.

The report noted that the new discoveries will go some way towards meeting the country’s objective to increase its natural gas production by more than 50% from 2021 levels by 2030 and cover domestic demand for the fuel.

Saudi Arabia has been slow in opening up to natural gas, focusing on its principal hydrocarbon asset—oil. However, with demand for gas seen rising substantially amid the energy transition, this has changed and Riyadh earlier this year made its first acquisition in the LNG space.

In late September, Aramco announced it had struck a $500-million deal to buy a strategic minority stake in MidOcean Energy, a unit of EIG, which is on the hunt for LNG acquisitions, When Aramco announced its acquisition, it said MidOcean Energy was in the process of purchasing stakes in four Australian LNG projects as part of a strategy to build a diversified global portfolio.

Meanwhile, at home, Aramco earlier this month began commercial production of natural gas at the South Ghawar field—a shale formation. The project has a gas processing capacity of 300 million cubic feet daily, Aramco said.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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