Aramco commences tight gas production from South Ghawar

Aramco has produced the first unconventional tight gas from its South Ghawar operational area ahead of schedule. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Exploration & Production

Aramco has produced the first unconventional tight gas from its South Ghawar operational area two months ahead of schedule, in furtherance of its gas development strategy

Aramco’s strategy is to increase gas production by more than half over 2021 levels, through 2030, subject to domestic demand. Aramco plans to further expand its gas business, including the development of its unconventional gas resources, increasing production and investing in additional infrastructure to meet the large and growing domestic demand for lower-cost energy. Domestic gas demand growth is driven by power generation, water desalination, petrochemical production, and other industrial consumption in the Kingdom.

Commissioned facilities at South Ghawar have a 300mn standard cubic feet per day (scfd) of raw gas processing capacity and 38,000 bpd of condensate processing capacity. In response to growing demand for gas, the company will continue its work to more than double the overall processing capacity to achieve South Ghawar’s strategic goal of delivering 750mn scfd of raw gas in the near future.

Nasir Al-Naimi, Aramco Upstream president, said, “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.”

The production of tight sand gas at South Ghawar follows the commencement of production of unconventional gas at the North Arabia field in 2018, with the delivery of 240mn scfd to customers in Wa’ad Al-Shamal. 

Work is also progressing at the giant Jafurah unconventional gas field, the largest liquid-rich shale gas play in the Middle East, containing an estimated 200 trillion standard cubic feet (scf) of natural gas. Initial production is expected to commence in 2025, gradually increasing to 2.0 bscfd by 2030.