Saudi Aramco to begin new phase of shale gas development next year

The plant will produce gas, ethane, and condensate among other products

FILE PHOTO: An Aramco employee walks near an oil tank at Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo
Powered by automated translation

Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest oil producing company, will begin a new phase of processing unconventional gas in the Al Hasa governorate in the eastern province next year, as it looks to increase the proportion of the cleaner fuel in its energy mix.

"As part of Saudi Aramco's investment plan, we will start a new phase of the Jafura gas plant construction next year," Saudi Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser said in a statement on Wednesday.

"This is a huge plant that will produce sales gas, ethane, condensate and natural gas liquids. The plant is part of Saudi Aramco's plan to produce 3 billion standard cubic feet of unconventional gas over the next decade."

Jafura, which has significant unconventional reserves, is located between Ghawar, the world’s largest producing oilfield, and the Arabian Gulf.

Saudi Aramco, which produces and sells crude on behalf of the Saudi state has been looking to increase the share of gas in its domestic and international portfolio.

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, has previously been in discussions with the US and Russia, both large producers of gas, for possible collaboration.

The kingdom said last year that it was close to finalising a major agreement in the liquefied natural gas sector with Russia.

Saudi Aramco also announced its intention to join the US shale revolution with plans to develop unconventional gas in the Eagle Ford formation in Texas.