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Wasit plant to be finished by 2013


Saudi Aramco will bring its largest gas plant online in 2013, which is ahead of schedule, as the company accelerates gas output expansion to meet rising domestic demand.

The Wasit plant will not come on stream until 2014 but the fact that it will be completed earlier than expected shows the determination of Aramco to increase Saudi's gas output. This expansion programme follows a major crude expansion programme in 2009 which took its oil production capacity to 12mn (bpd).

Khalid al-Falih, chief executive of Saudi Aramco, said that together with two other plants, Khursaniyah and Karan, the Wasit plant would help Saudi Arabia process its targeted production increase of raw gas to 15.5 billion cfd by 2015 from 10.2 billion cfd, reported TradeArabia.

Wasit has the capacity to process 2.5 billion cfd of gas from nonassociated offshore sour gas fields Arabiyah and Hasbah. It would also produce around 1.75 billion cfd of sales gas.

Wasit is one of two new gas projects Aramco plans to develop. The other is Shaybah natural gas liquids (NGL). Aramco is currently reviewing onshore bids for Wasit and the company recently announced onshore deals with General Electric (GE).

Falih added that the cost of expanding PetroRabigh, a joint venture between Aramco and Japan's Sumitomo Chemical is expected to reach between US$6 billion to US$8 billion.

The complex is integrated with a 400,000 bpd refinery and was part of Aramco's plans to build refinery-based petrochemical complexes across the kingdom.