Unconventional/complex reservoirs

First Gas Flows at Aramco's South Ghawar Tight-Rock Development

With the startup of South Ghawar field complete, the Saudi national oil company can look toward the commercialization of its tight-gas giant, Jafurah.

Building a pipeline in the desert.
Source: Saudi Aramco.

Saudi Aramco announced today that it has begun producing first gas at the South Ghawar unconventional development. The world’s largest oil company said the gas production from a tight sandstone formation was achieved 2 months ahead of schedule and is part of its broad initiative to boost Saudi gas output by more than half of 2021 levels by 2030.

“This first production of unconventional tight gas from South Ghawar is a milestone that demonstrates real progress on our gas expansion strategy, which we believe has a role to play in meeting the Kingdom’s needs for lower-emission energy and supporting growth in the chemicals sector,” Nasir Al-Naimi, upstream president for Aramco, said in a statement.

The company added that due to increasing domestic demand it will increase the facility capacity at South Ghawar from 300 to 750 MMscf/D. The facility can also process 38,000 B/D of condensate at current capacity.

In addition to South Ghawar, Aramco said it is producing 240 MMscf/D of tight gas at its North Arabia field which came onstream in 2018.

Pre-commercial work is still underway at Saudi’s Jafurah unconventional gas field which is recognized as the largest liquids-rich shale play in the Middle East with 200 Tcf of reserves. To push the $100-billion project forward, Aramco is in the midst of testing its first high-intensity fracture designs along with the limited-entry technique that have led to improved well performance in North American shale wells.