• Saudi Aramco begins work on largest shale gas project outside US

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Saudi Aramco has begun work on the world’s largest shale development outside of the US, the US$110 billion (€101 billion) Jafurah shale gas field project. Having waged something of a price war against US shale oil and gas in recent years, it appears Aramco has decided to compete using the same technologies, which will cause headaches for their US competitors and other major producers around the world. If the Jarurah project hits its production targets, by 2030 the kingdom will be the world’s third largest gas producer in the world after the USA and Russia. However, the gas is intended first for domestic use, replacing some oil consumption, such that there will be more oil for export (as well as the remaining gas). The technological competition will not quite be the same – Saudi Aramco has developed a means of fracking using seawater (after some treatment) rather than freshwater, working with companies such as Schlumberger, Halliburton, and Baker Hughes in doing so. For gas exports, Saudi Aramco will prefer to use existing pipelines to nearby countries, rather than build LNG export facilities.