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Thu 31 Mar 2016 09:28 AM

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Saudi Aramco finds 'big volumes of shale gas' in Jafurah

Saudi Aramco see big potential unconventional Jafurah gas basin

Saudi Aramco finds 'big volumes of shale gas' in Jafurah
KSA energy

Saudi Aramco is assessing the unconventional Jafurah gas basin which it says is promising, its CEO said on Wednesday as the world's largest oil exporter plans to boost gas production for power and chemical industries.

Saudi Aramco has launched its exploration campaign to look for unconventional gas in the northwest area, the Eastern Province and the Empty Quarter.

Jafurah is in southeast of Ghawar, the world's largest conventional oilfield.

"Our exploration efforts have resulted in finding big volumes of shale gas in the Jafurah Basin close to Ahsa, they are highly promising quantities and economically feasible as they contain a high rate of liquids; activities to evaluate the reserves are ongoing," Amin Nasser told a conference.

"The recent unconventional gas field in the nearby Jafurah basin is very promising, we are still assessing its potential but it could be a game changer for Al Ahsa in terms of creating more opportunities new engines for growth," Nasser told an investment forum in Al Ahsa.

Nasser told the forum the focus is on manufacturing more speciality petrochemicals, instead of low-value basic petrochemical commodity.

"However this downstream expansion will rely on a substantial expansion of our upstream gas."

Nasser said earlier this month that Aramco plans to double gas production to 23 billion standard cubic feet per day of gas in a decade.

On Wednesday, he could not give a breakdown of how much of the new gas will go the petrochemicals sector.

As part of plans to boost local industry and create jobs, Saudi Aramco is also planning to develop an energy industrial city between Al Ahsa and Dammam which includes manufacturing oil and gas equipment and drilling centres for Aramco.

These plans are still being studied, Nasser told reporters.

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