GPCA '11: Saudi to double gas production capacity by 2016

14 December 2011 09:56  [Source: ICIS news]

DUBAI (ICIS)--Saudi Arabia is aiming to double its gas production capacity by 2016 as it undertakes aggressive measures of exploration to move gas resources into reserves by utilising and developing advanced technologies, a top official from the oil-rich country said on Wednesday.

The new measures will enable the country to grow its gas production capacity to about 15 billion cubic feet (bcf)/day by 2016 from 7.7 bcf/day in 2002, said Prince Faisal Bin Turki, advisor to Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.

Prince Faisal was giving the keynote speech at the 6th GPCA Forum that is being held on 13-15 December, with the theme “Moving Downstream – Creating Value and Sustainable Growth”.

Saudi Arabia has created the largest refining network in the Middle East that is expected to reach 3.5m bbl/day of capacity by 2016, Prince Faisal said.

“In undertaking all of these developments, the government encouraged the Saudisation of jobs and the localisation of industries needed for oil and gas and basic industries,” he said.

“This will help retain and increase the benefit of these activities to the local economy, and this effort will continue in the future,” Price Faisal said.

Saudi Arabia is living in a “golden era” as it is experiencing the largest growth in its history, with the total production of petrochemicals, chemicals and polymers expected to be over 100m tonnes by 2016, more than doubling from 2006 levels, he said.

The oil and gas rich nation’s annual production of ethylene and propylene, meanwhile, is expected to more than double from the levels in 2006, according to Prince Faisal.

“The associated cumulative investments for all these petrochemical projects are expected to be over $150bn [€116bn] by 2016, he said.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, working with the industry, has focused on expanding the country’s portfolio and moving up the value chain to include 120 new petrochemical and chemical products that will enable Saudi Arabia’s future downstream conversion industries, supporting the country’s move towards economic diversification, Prince Faisal said.

Examples of new products that will be available for Saudi industries include synthetic rubbers and carbon black to support the tyre and construction materials industries as well as polycarbonate (PC), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), polyurethane (PU) and nylon to support the automotive industry, he said.

“Growing value downstream is beneficial for all stakeholders in Saudi Arabia,” Prince Faisal said.

“It provides petrochemical companies with opportunities to expand their markets and broaden their business portfolio and at the same time allows its economy to diversify and grow and provide job opportunities for its people,” he added.

($1 = €0.77)

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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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