Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco has commenced unconventional tight gas production from its South Ghawar field located 200km east of Riyadh in Al Hasa Province.

The move is part of Aramco’s efforts to boost gas production by more than half from 2021 levels through 2030.

Aramco said the facilities at the South Ghawar operation have the capacity to process 300mcfd of raw gas and 38,000 barrels per day of condensate.

The Saudi state energy company is planning to more than double South Ghawar’s processing capacity to 700mcfd in the near future to meet surging gas demand in the country.

Aramco upstream president Nasir Al-Naimi said: “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.

“The ability to commence production two months ahead of schedule and below budget is testament to the unwavering dedication of our people and their determination to continuously enhance our upstream operations.”

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Aramco’s tight sand gas production from South Ghawar marks its second such production from an unconventional asset, followed by gas production at the North Arabia field in 2018.

Currently, the company is moving ahead with development of the Jafurah unconventional gas field, reputed to be the Middle East’s largest liquid-rich shale gas play.

In October 2023, Saudi Aramco partnered with Enowa to set up a synthetic electro-fuel (e-fuel) demonstration facility.

It will be located in Enowa’s Hydrogen Innovation and Development Center.