Saudi Aramco’s CEO has confirmed that the company expects to begin offshore drilling in the Red Sea before the end of 2012, and that the company is spending more on research and development that at any time in the company’s history.
In an interview (arabic) with Saudi newspaper Al Riyadh, Khaled Al Falih said that in addition to progress in the Red Sea, Aramco had found resources in the north of the country, where Aramco is exploring for unconventional gas resources, the details of which Al Falih said he will announce “in due course.”
Aramco began a wide-ranging seismic program in the Saudi Red Sea in 2009, as part of a push to explore new oil and gas assets in the face of increasing domestic demand and an unsustainable crude burn for power generation. After shallow water exploration gets underway Al Falih said that he expects deepwater exploration to get started in 2013.
Al Falih told Al Riyadh that the huge Karan gas field was now yielding 1.8 billion cubic feet of gas a day, and will produce up to 2.5 billion feet of gas a day by the summer of 2014. Plans are under way to install sufficient power generation capacity to harness the gas.