GPCA '09: Natural gas output to rise in 2010 - Saudi oil minister

09 December 2009 11:37  [Source: ICIS news]

DUBAI (ICIS news)--Petrochemical producers in Saudi Arabia will have more access to natural gas feedstock next year following the discovery of 5,000bn cubic feet of non-associated gas by Saudi Aramco this year, the country's oil minister Ali Al-Naimi said on Wednesday.

"At the end of 2008, natural gas reserves in Saudi Arabia were around 263 trillion cubic feet, up from 181 trillion cubic feet in 1990," the minister told delegates at  the 4th Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) forum.

Around 75% of Saudi Arabia's natural gas reserves in the early '90s used to come from associated gas (gas produced while drilling for oil).

"However, today as much as 48% of the country's natural gas output is non-associated (procured from gas fields)," Al-Naimi said.

Saudi's plentiful supply of low-priced natural gas has made it an attractive investment destination for petrochemical projects, but there have been some concerns about gas shortages in summer, when demand from the power sector is high, and the possible depletion of gas reserves in the coming years.

The three-day forum ends on Thursday.

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By: Prema Viswanathan
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