Saudi Aramco's plan to increase gas production by 65% from current levels, and to eventually transform itself into a gas exporter will drive $150bn in investments over the next 10 years.
Amin Nasser, Saudi Aramco's CEO, said that the company's gas strategy would "attract investments of about $150bn over the next decade, with daily production reaching 23bn standard cubic feet a day from the current 14bn."
The kingdom has large shale gas resources, which the country has largely ignored, but Nasser noted that the production of this resource "will play an important role in the further growth of the kingdom's chemicals sector."
“We’re looking to have 70% to 75% of our utilities gas-based and the rest will be handled by renewables and nuclear energy," he said. "We’re looking to be a major player in gas. Gas will be 50% [of our utilities mix] by 2040 and has a better impact on the environment, in terms of climate change.”
Saudi Aramco and ADNOC signed a framework agreement to work together on developing their gas programmes through the exchange of knowledge and shared feasibility studies.
Aramco hired Halliburton, a US oilfield services company known for its work with unconventional resources, to help develop the country's shale gas reserves.
"We do have a lot of potential for unconventional gas in the kingdom and we’re talking about 3 billion cubic feet of sales gas by 2030,” said Nasser. He also noted that gas developments will add "a lot of value in terms of creating additional chemical industry in the kingdom."
The company will also invest $100bn into the chemicals sector in the next decade, excluding its planned acquisition of a 70% stake in Saudi chemicals giant Sabic.