Saudi Aramco discovers two natural gas fields in Eastern Province

Kingdom looking to increase use of the fuel for domestic power in bid to free up crude for exports

An operator at the condensate stabiliser at the Haradh gas plant in Saudi Arabia. Two new gas fields have been found in the kingdom. AFP
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Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister said oil giant Saudi Aramco had discovered two unconventional natural gas fields, Awtad and AlDahna, in the country's Eastern Province, according to state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Awtad was discovered south-west of the Ghawar field, 142km south-west from the city of Hofuf, while AlDahna was found 230km south-west of Dhahran, SPA said on Wednesday.

“The importance of these discoveries lies in strengthening the kingdom's natural gas reserves, which contributes to supporting the kingdom's strategies and achieving the goals of the liquid fuel displacement programme,” Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said.

Saudi Arabia, which aims to become a natural gas exporter by 2030, is increasingly looking at the fuel for domestic power needs in a bid to free up crude for exports.

Gas flowed from one well, the Awtad-108001, at a rate of 10 million standard cubic feet daily, along with a daily 740 barrels of condensate, and from the Awtad-100921 well at a rate of 16.9 million standard cubic feet daily, along with 165 barrels of condensate a day.

Gas flowed from AlDahna-4 well at a rate of 8.1 million standard cubic feet daily, and from AlDahna-370100 well at a rate of 17.5 million standard cubic feet daily, along with a daily 362 barrels of condensate.

The current strains on the global gas supply have led to energy shortages in several parts of the developing world that rely on imported gas, notably Pakistan and Bangladesh. Major growth markets for gas, such as India and China, meanwhile, sharply reduced their liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports this year.

As the global energy crisis deepens and countries seek reliable energy sources, investment in new LNG infrastructure is set to surge, reaching $42 billion annually in 2024, Rystad Energy said in a report in August.

Saudi Arabia's economy expanded by 8.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2022, driven by higher oil prices and government reforms, the kingdom's statistics body said last month.

Growth in the Arab world's biggest economy in three months that ended in September is up from 6.8 per cent from a year ago, the General Authority for Statistics (Gastat) said in its flash estimates report on Monday.

Oil activities grew 14.5 per cent, up from 9.3 per cent a year ago, Gastat said. This was, however, down from the 22.9 per cent surge in the second quarter of 2022. Oil activities in the kingdom include crude oil, natural gas and refining activities.

Updated: November 30, 2022, 3:22 PM
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