Saudi Aramco presses on with shale gas

By Verity Ratcliffe 30 September 2016
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The three main areas being targeted for shale gas exploration in Saudi Arabia. The three main areas being targeted for shale gas exploration in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Aramco is pressing ahead with its shale gas development plans despite low oil prices and will start producing volumes within the next year, an anonymous source close to the company’s shale gas programme has told Interfax Natural Gas Daily.

The kingdom’s NOC will invest $334 billion by 2025 on its shale gas programme and other oil and gas projects, Aramco’s vice president for procurement and supply chain management, Abdulaziz al-Abdulkarim, said at the Petrotech conference in Bahrain on Monday. Funding will be given to "unconventional resources, both in the exploration phase and [in] development", as well as projects that will boost Saudi Arabia’s oil output, he said.

Aramco is targeting three areas with its unconventional gas exploration programme: the Northwest, South Ghawar and Rub’ al-Khali (the Empty Quarter), according to Aramco’s job adverts and technical studies. The company has awarded two contracts for the development of shale gas resources in the north.

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