Aramco tests interest in two key gas projects
Al Khobar, April 13, 2010
State oil company Saudi Aramco has gauged contractors' interest in building the Wasit and Shaybah gas plants, two sources said. 'They asked in-kingdom companies to confirm their interest by April 14,' said one source.
Wasit would be the biggest gas plant in top oil exporter Saudi Arabia with a processing capacity of 2.5 billion cubic feet per day (cfd) from two non-associated offshore gas fields, Hasbah and Arabiyah.
Plans for Shaybah include a new natural gas liquids (NGL) recovery facility. The plant would strip out ethane, propane and natural gas liquids (NGLs) while producing around 1,400 million cfd of gas for reinjection in the 750,000 barrels per day (bpd) oilfield.
In-kingdom companies are international firms registered in Saudi Arabia.
'Aramco is testing the market, they want to see if projects of this size can be done in the kingdom,' the source added.
Aramco has switched its focus to gas in order to meet domestic gas demand, which is rising 7 percent per year, after it completed a crude expansion project last year to boost output capacity to 12 million bpd.
Production of raw gas -- unprocessed natural gas -- stands at nearly 10 billion cfd, an Aramco executive said last week.
Preliminary engineering and design work for Wasit should be completed by the first quarter of next year, an Aramco executive said in January. Canada's SNC-Lavalin is undertaking the preliminary work and also providing project management for Wasit while US firm KBR is offering the same services for Shaybah's NGL programme. - Reuters
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