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Saudi Aramco has produced the first unconventional tight gas from its South Ghawar field, the world’s largest oil firm said this week as it seeks to boost its natural gas output by more than half by 2030.
The facilities at South Ghawar have a raw gas processing capacity of 300 million standard cubic feet per day (scfd) and a condensate processing capacity of 38,000 barrels per day (bpd), the Saudi state oil giant said.
To meet rising natural gas demand, Aramco plans to more than double the overall processing capacity and achieve South Ghawar’s goal of delivering 750 million scfd of raw gas in the near future.
“This first production of unconventional tight gas from South Ghawar is a milestone that demonstrates real progress on our gas expansion strategy, which we believe has a role to play in meeting the Kingdom’s needs for lower-emission energy and supporting growth in the chemicals sector,” said Nasir Al-Naimi, Aramco Upstream President.
Tight gas production at South Ghawar is Aramco’s second unconventional gas stream, after production commenced at the North Arabia field in 2018.
“Work is simultaneously progressing at the giant Jafurah unconventional gas field, which is the largest liquid-rich shale gas play in the Middle East,” Aramco said.
The Saudi company has been looking to raise its natural gas production to replace crude oil in power generation domestically. More recently, Aramco has moved to tap the international LNG market as it continues to see oil and gas as key energy supply globally for decades to come.
In September, Saudi Aramco entered the global LNG business by signing a deal to buy a minority stake in LNG company MidOcean Energy, which is in the process of acquiring interests in four Australian LNG projects.
The Saudi giant, the world’s single largest crude oil exporter, has been looking for months to tap the global gas and LNG business and was rumored earlier this year to have been in early talks with developers aiming to secure a stake in a project in the United States or Asia.
Commenting on the LNG deal, Aramco Upstream President, Nasir Al-Naimi, said: “This is an important step in Aramco’s strategy to become a leading global LNG player.”
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com