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Saudi Aramco to diversify into gas production

Construction of Wasit plant to begin in mid-2011.

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Saudi Aramco is looking to increase its gas output.
Saudi Aramco is looking to increase its gas output.

Construction of the Wasit gas plant, Saudi Aramco’s biggest project in the pipeline, will begin in the middle of next year, according to an Aramco engineer.

Once completed, the region’s biggest gas plant will contribute to a greater feedstock diversity in a country heavily reliant on crude oil for power generation and petrochemical production.

The construction of a gas plant in Wasit, north Jubail, is the Saudi oil giant’s largest project, says Husssain Sahu, project engineer at the company.

When completed in 2014 at a cost of approximately US$6-7 billion, the gas plant will be the largest in the region, and produce 1,2 billion SEAF per day, says Sahu.

Saudi Aramco has finished the proposal stage of the project, and will launch a tendering process by the end of this year, he adds. After detailed planning, construction is expected to begin in mid-2011.

To supply the plant, offshore gas drilling sites are currently being constructed in Saudi Arabian waters at Arabiyah and Hasba.

Saudi Arabia’s biggest gas project signals a shift focus from crude to a more balanced feedstock mix, according to Sahu. The gas will be used to generate electricity and for petrochemical production.

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