Saudi Arabia to Tap Shale Gas from Jafurah Basin

Saudi Arabia to Tap Shale Gas from Jafurah Basin

Tuesday, 13 March, 2018 - 13:15
A pump jack used to help lift crude oil from a well in South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale formation stands idle in Dewitt County, Texas, US, January 13, 2016. REUTERS/Anna Driver/File Photo
Kuwait- Wael Mahdi
Within days, Aramco will start producing unconventional gas from the north, in a quest to supply electricity companies there and Waad Al Shamaal City with the required fuel to operate the project. However, in other areas of the kingdom, work is ongoing to produce gas from reservoirs that would be a game changer in the energy field in Saudi Arabia and the region in case the project witnessed success.

Aramco is conducting drilling and initial tests to produce shale gas from Jafurah oilfield, which is considered equivalent to Eagle Ford oilfield in Texas in terms of quantity and space. Shale gas is one of the unconventional gases whose extraction requires more complex operations than conventional gas.

Former Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi estimated the kingdom’s shale gas reserves at 600 trillion cubic feet i.e. double the estimated reserves of conventional gas. However, these estimates are preliminary and the kingdom’s lands might contain much greater quantity – Jafurah alone might contain this quantity of gas if not more.

Drilling one well in Saudi Arabia might cost between $15 to $20 million. During a conference in Bahrain last week, Khalid al-Abdulqader, general manager of unconventional resources at Aramco, said that another potential challenge is that Jafurah output should be huge.

Aramco announced that its gas product will double to 23 billion cubic feet on a daily bases within ten years, including 2-3 billion cubic feet daily of shale gas. According to Abdulqader, Aramco is expected to commence production of unconventional gas in the kingdom end of this month, adding that the project will reach the target output capacity by the end of the year.

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