Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, plans to further its fossil fuel industry and invest in unconventional natural gas production, Bloomberg reported.
Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco will spend $300 billion over the next decade to boost natural gas exploration and production while maintaining spare oil production capacity. Part of the money will fund fracking projects in a shale field comparable to Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale — the most invested in oil and gas development in the world.
Aramco General Manager of Unconventional Resources Khalid Al Abdulqader said Wednesday Saudi shale supplies are “huge.” Production will begin this month and hit target capacity by 2018’s end, Abdulqader said. The target capacity Saudi Arabia is aiming for is unclear, according to Bloomberg.
Saudi Arabia has been trying to diversify its energy production for years in order to curb its reliance on oil while freeing up some of its reserves for export out of the country.
“Saudi Arabia has an absolute dire need for gas. They want to shift their power more toward gas-based sources so they can free up oil for exports,” London-based BMI Research Oil and Gas Analyst Emma Richards told CNBC in 2015 when Saudi Arabia was starting up a pilot fracking project. “They’ve been investing quite heavily over the last few years in R&D in different kinds of fracturing technologies.”
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