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Project Insights

Saudis deliberate over shale gas plans

Aramco’s hesitance to start developing shale gas reserves in Saudi Arabia reflects less a lack of strategic direction, and more the desire to get the process right before spending big Aramco’s hesitance to start developing shale gas reserves in Saudi Arabia reflects less a lack of strategic direction, and more the desire to get the process right before spending big.
By James Gavin 16 May 2014 Middle East & Africa / Exploration & Production 0 8182
Aramco CEO Khalid al-Falih said in April that unconventional exploration showed ‘high promise’. (PA)

Saudi Aramco has yet to award FEED contracts for unconventional resources identified by Baker Hughes more than two years ago. The delay is puzzling, as Saudi Arabia desperately needs gas to feed its domestic market.

Some are attributing the hold-up to indecisiveness on the part of senior executives. Others say the company is being cautious, with former Aramco upstream chief Sadad Husseini claiming the right processes need to be in place before the contracts are awarded.

“Shale gas production has little in common with conventional processes designed...