Aramco launches the largest shale gas project outside the United States
The Economy News - Baghdad
Amin Al-Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco, said that the company is in the process of launching the largest project to exploit shale gas outside the United States to enhance domestic gas supplies and end the burning of oil in its power plants.
The world's largest crude exporter has been defending for years the market share in the face of expanding shale oil producers in the United States, which in just ten years had the ability to pump millions of barrels of oil per day from rock formations that were once too expensive to exploit.
Saudi Arabia fought a price war aimed at taking the US shale oil sector out of the market only six years ago, but ultimately failed. Now, the country is adopting technologies developed in the US fields - which started with gas - in the giant gas field project Jafurah, whose investments are estimated at $ 110 billion. Aramco said it had got a green light for the project on Saturday.
If Aramco achieves the field development goals, Saudi Arabia will become the third largest gas producer in the world by 2030. The largest gas producers in the world are the United States and Russia.
Al-Nasser told Reuters that Aramco has devised a method of crushing using sea water, which will overcome the obstacle of a lack of water needed for crushing in the desert.
He said in an interview in the eastern region, where the center of oil production in Saudi Arabia, "a new rock revolution is taking place (in Saudi Arabia), it is commercially viable and we use sea water."
He pointed out that "many have said that the idea will not work outside the United States ... because cracking consumes a lot of water and we do not have abundant water. But we use sea water."
He explained that Aramco has drilled 150 wells since 2013 in the Jafoura shale gas field to prepare the development plan.
The Saudi National Oil Group has worked with global oil services companies such as Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes of America on the field and to develop the technology of rock crushing and the extraction of oil and gas trapped in it, in what is known as cracking technology. These companies are active in American shale oil fields.
Al-Nasser said that Aramco will offer tours to award the field business contracts, and the companies themselves and others are likely to participate.
Outside the United States, oil companies have had little success in exploiting rock reserves for various reasons - either due to lack of experience, water scarcity or other resources, inadequate infrastructure or spatial proximity to large populations.