Signing $10 billion worth of contracts on Monday, Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Aramco has kickstarted the development of its massive Jafurah unconventional gas field it is thought to be the largest known free gas field in the kingdom.
Among the local and international companies that have signed the16 subsurface and Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contracts with Aramco are the US-based Schlumberger and Halliburton, Baker Hughes, NESR, Saudi Taqa, Sinopec, Larsen and Toubro, and Saipem.
Underlining that the awarded contracts are a pivotal moment in the commercialization of Kindom’s vast unconventional resources programme, Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser said that the gas has a critical role in the energy transition that will help significantly reduce emissions in the domestic energy sector.
It will also provide feedstock for low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia for the expansion of Aramco’s integrated gas portfolio.
According to Aramco, the project’s development – the gas plant and gas compression facilities, the infrastructure, and related surface facilities – in the first 10 years will cost approximately $68 billion while it anticipates more than $100 billion total lifecycle investment.
Jafurah site is expected to produce up to 2 billion cubic feet per day of sales gas, 418 million scfd of ethane, and around 630,000 bpd of gas liquids and condensates by 2030, the state-controlled oil giant notes.
It’s a key component of Aramco’s strategy to ramp up unconventional gas output in line with its energy-transition plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions on a Scope 1 and Scope 2 basis across its wholly-owned operated assets by 2050.
Saudi Arabia also plans to tap into the giant Jafurah gas reserves for producing hydrogen, as per the recent statement of the Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman al Saud, but he provided no further details.