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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Aramco hires Halliburton to help search for shale gas in kingdom

The state-controlled company aims to boost gas output to free up oil used in power generation for export

Saudi Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser said the company, over the past three years, has made great strides in developing its unconventional resources programme. F. Carter Smith / Bloomberg
Saudi Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser said the company, over the past three years, has made great strides in developing its unconventional resources programme. F. Carter Smith / Bloomberg

Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer, has signed a contract with oil services company Halliburton to help improve the its search for unconventional gas in the kingdom.

The contact “reflects Saudi Aramco’s pursuit of unconventional gas to serve domestic needs, offset local crude burning, provide feedstock for chemical industry development, and spur regional economic development in line with Vision 2030,” Aramco said in a statement on Sunday.

Saudi Aramco’s unconventional resources programme covers three areas in the kingdom: North Arabia, South Ghawar and Jafurah/Rub’ Al-Khali, the statement added.

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Read more:

Saudi Aramco awards $4.5bn worth of contracts to boost gas output

Bahrain launches $1bn fund to invest in new shale reserves

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Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is looking for new gas discoveries as the kingdom aims to further develop its industrial and petrochemical sectors as part of its national transformation programme. It last year awarded $4.5 billion worth of contracts to oil and gas services companies that will help boost the country's gas production by about 1 billion standard cubic feet per day (scfd).

“Over the past three years, Saudi Aramco has made great strides in developing our unconventional resources programme, with emphasis on unconventional gas as an important clean energy source for the Kingdom’s future,” said Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser in the statement.

“Now, with this contract formalised today with Halliburton, we enter the important next phase of achieving our gas expansion objectives.”

Bahrain, the smallest oil producer in the Arabian Gulf, announced last month, the discovery of 80 billion barrels of shale oil and up to 20 trillion cubic feet of tight gas offshore - its biggest find since oil was discovered in the kingdom over eight decades ago. The discovery dwarfs Bahrain’s current reserves.