By maintaining a focus on securing more value from the Kingdom’s hydrocarbon resources while exercising fiscal discipline, we have attained substantial gains in capital and operating efficiencies across our upstream activities.
We have used the market downturn as an opportunity to renegotiate contracts to achieve significant cost savings for construction and equipment, and for services related to drilling, well stimulation, testing, and logging, even while rig count numbers declined globally across the industry. Through more efficient well designs, we have been able to increase the average daily drilling depth of new gas wells by 21%, enabling faster well completion times and lower costs.
Revitalizing existing vertical wells through drilling horizontal extensions — or sidetracks — has improved the crude oil production rates of our older wells. This technique extends the operational life of oil wells, deriving additional value from existing assets by lowering drilling costs, utilizing existing flow lines, and shortening tie-in time.
Not all efficiency gains are technology driven: we have optimized 52 tests and inspections of major facilities to align with the needs of customers to maximize the delivery of products while also minimizing the burning of liquids for power generation.
Hawiyah Gas Plant
A team of young employees at our Hawiyah Gas Plant, in collaboration with our Process and Control Systems organization, pioneered the development of a breakthrough hydraulic turbine electric generator, or turbocharger, which converts hydraulic energy that is traditionally wasted at the plant into electrical power.
The technology achieves significant cost savings and lightens the greenhouse gas footprint of the plant. The turbocharger is being monitored and if deemed a success, may be rolled out across other company facilities.
The turbocharger — the first of its kind in the world — was deployed in a pilot demonstration in early 2015 and performed to expectations with an average output of 300 kilowatts.
As the country transitions to a more diversified economy — one based on new industries, innovation and knowledge — it is our responsibility to manage the resource base for the greater benefit of the country and for energy consumers around the world.
Meeting this challenge year after year rests on the expertise of our upstream people to exercise capital and operational efficiency, deliver world-scale projects, and pursue the breakthroughs that will make oil and gas more accessible, sustainable and beneficial.