Saudi Aramco has made significant progress developing its shale gas reserves and has started making allocations for industrial projects in Saudi Arabia, the company said in its 2013 annual review.
The company said its unconventional gas program became fully operational in 2013, only two years after launching its own unconventional gas program in the frontier Northern Region, offering new resources for the Kingdom’s energy needs. The company said that it is ready to commit shale gas for the development of a 1,000-megawatt power plant that will feed a massive phosphate mining and manufacturing sector in the Kingdom and contribute to the region’s development and prosperity. “Saudi Arabia will be among the first countries outside North America to use shale gas for domestic power generation,” the company said.
Saudi Aramco is also actively exploring for unconventional gas resources in three areas of Saudi Arabia, including the Northwest, South Ghawar, and the Rub’ al-Khali (empty quarter). “Due to the large scale of these unconventional gas resources and the complexity and intensity of the activity associated with their development, significant investment opportunities and economic benefits lie in the full value chain of this emerging industry,” it said.
In addition to the progress in its shale gas program, Saudi Aramco continued exploration and drilling operations in the Red Sea's deep waters, where it made a new discovery at Al-Haryd.
Also, the first deep water Drill Stemm Test operation was successfully executed at Duba-1, located in the Northern Red Sea. Tests conducted in sea water at a depth of 2.127 ft indicated tight reservoirs for potential future development.
Abdelghani Henni is a Middle East Staff Writer for the Journal of Petroleum Technology.