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Saudi Aramco to gear up Red Sea deep offshore Exploration-Production

Aramco to begin with Ahmar-1 gas field development

2B1st_Project_Smart_Explorer_Sales_Pursuit_ToolIn 2012 Saudi Aramco discovered the Ahmar-1 field of non-associated gas in the deep water of the Red Sea approximately 24 kilometers northwest of Duba in the Tabuk Province on the west coast of Saudi Arabia.

In following Saudi Aramco announced $25 billion capital expenditure in exploration production to develop the oil and gas reserves lying in the Red Sea.

From the 2D and 3D seismic surveys data accumulated since 2009, Saudi Aramco estimates that Red Sea oil and gas reserves could add 100 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) to the 267 billion boe of proven reserves currently declared by Saudi Arabia.

Saudi_Aramco_Ahmar-1_Red_Sea_Deep_Water_Project_Duba_MapThus, Red Sea could increase Kingdom reserves by no less that 38%

This announcement comes at time the USA companies are lobbying to lift the ban on crude oil export out of USA to send the signal that OPEC is ready to respond in the case a price war on the crude oil barrel should occur in the future leading the shale oil sector in the US to follow the same path as the current shale gas sector.

In addition to this global influence, the Red Sea reserves could also help Saudi Arabia to solve a domestic issue regarding its permanent shortage of natural gas.

The domestic oil and gas consumption is currently booming at 7% per year that would lead to double it on the next ten years.

A significant part of the crude oil burnt in Saudi Arabia goes to feed power supply and petrochemical industries that could use much cheaper natural gas if available in sustainable quantities.

To increase the gas production Saudi Aramco has initiated to explore the shale gas potential of the Kingdom, but the location of the fields, the uncertainty of the recoverable resources, and the water shortage prevent any fast track development.

Saudi Aramco plans gas treatment plant in Duba

In this context, the Red Sea offers the opportunity to provide massive quantity of non-associated gas despite the technical challenges of the deep water.

In that respect the Ahmar-1 non-associated gas field looks very promising.

Saudi-Aramco_Ahmar-1_Duba_Gas_Treatment_Plant_ProjectTo develop Ahmar-1 Saudi Aramco will begin with drilling seven wells out of which three are still in shallow water, not exceeding 100 meters depth, while the remaining four will stand in deep water by more than 1,000 meters depth.

The gas should be exported by pipeline to Duba where Saudi Aramco is planning to build a gas central processing facility.

From there the question is still opened if the treated gas should stay in Duba to supply power plant and petrochemical complex, or if it should be exported by pipeline to other industrial cities running short of gas such as Yanbu, Jeddah or Jizan.

Whatever shall be the decision on the midstream and downstream sides, Saudi Aramco is now running full speed to develop the upstream side of the promising Red Sea in begining with Ahmar-1 gas field development and the Duba gas treatment plant project.

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