As early as the 1970s, we saw the merits of gas as a valuable resource.
By creating the Master Gas System, we began capturing and making good use of the gas associated with oil production that would ordinarily have been flared.
Saudi Aramco is responsible for known gas reserves of 282.6 trillion standard cubic feet (scf), the fourth largest in the world.
Finding additional gas reserves is one of our top priorities, and so far our exploration program has been very successful. In 2011, Saudi Aramco focused heavily on major offshore gas developments in the Arabian Gulf, as well as its new facilities for gas processing and natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionation.
In order to focus on accessing the Kingdom’s unconventional gas resources, which may rival its conventional gas reserves, we launched our Upstream Unconventional Gas program in 2011.
Producing more than ever
In 2011, we reached a one-day peak of 11.2 billion scf of raw gas production.
We also increased our gas production (raw gas to gas plants) from 9.4 billion scfd in 2010 to 9.9 scfd in 2011.
Our Karan program, which began production in 2011, is the first non-associated offshore gas increment in our history. When completed in 2013, the increment will be capable of delivering 1.8 billion scfd of sour gas via a 110-km subsea pipeline to the Khursaniyah Gas Plant.
Saudi Aramco has begun drilling in the Hasbah and Arabiya offshore gas fields, located northeast of Dhahran. We have broken several records with these drilling activities, including drilling the largest diameter holes and running the longest casing strings.
Major progress has also been made on the new Wasit Gas Plant, which will be one of the largest gas plants Saudi Aramco has ever built when it is completed in 2014.
Earning global recognition
In 2011, Saudi Aramco earned international recognition from the international Gas Processors Association (IGPA) and the U.S. National Safety Council (NSC) for outstanding safety performance in 2010. The IGPA awarded the Perfect Record Award to several Saudi Aramco gas plants including the Ju'aymah and Yanbu' NGL fractionation plants, and the Haradh, Shedgum, 'Uthmaniyah, Hawiyah and Khursaniyah gas plants.
Another major achievement in 2011 was the successful installation of the first Gas Treating Membrane Technology Plant at Shedgum Gas Plant.
Looking to the future, a clear focus will be energy efficiency in our gas operations. We have introduced a unique energy efficiency program for our Gas Operations organization that will reduce facility energy intensity by 26 percent, a target we hope to achieve by 2015.
We aim to achieve a 10 percent reduction through various plant operation optimizations and process improvements. The remaining 16 percent reduction in energy intensity will be achieved through capital projects in new or expanded activities.
In 2011, energy intensity was significantly reduced by more than 5 percent – surpassing our 2 percent target – through effective implementation of the efficiency program elements.