The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) has announced the start of the development of the vast Jafurah unconventional gas field, the largest non-associated gas field in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Company has awarded a subsurface and Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract worth USD 10bn, with capital expenditure at Jafurah, expected to reach USD 68bn over the first 10 years of development.
It is a significant milestone both for the commercialization of unconventional resources in Saudi Arabia and the expansion of Aramco’s integrated gas portfolio, which will provide additional feedstock to support the growth of the Company’s high-value chemicals business, complement its focus on low-carbon hydrogen production and help reduce emissions in the domestic power sector by providing a cleaner-burning alternative to liquid fuel.
With an estimated 200 trillion standard cubic feet of gas in place, the Jafurah basin hosts the largest liquid-rich shale gas play in the Middle East. This shale play covers an area measuring 17,000 square kilometers and production of natural gas at Jafurah is expected to ramp up from 200 million standard cubic feet per day (scfd) in 2025 to reach a sustainable gas rate of two billion scfd of sales gas by 2030, with 418 million scfd of ethane and around 630,000 barrels per day of gas liquids and condensates, which are essential feedstock for the growing petrochemical industry.
The project is a key component of the Company’s long-term strategy and Aramco expects total overall lifecycle investment at Jafurah to exceed USD 100bn. Through its unconventional gas program at the Jafurah, North Arabia, and South Ghawar fields, the Company expects to create more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.