The shale gas boom first seen in the US is likely to occur in several other countries, Saudi Aramco CEO Khalid Al-Falih said on 14 October, adding that the oil and gas giant’s first forays into unconventional gas in Saudi Arabia have proven productive.
“I believe the US shale revolution will spread far and wide, as many other areas of the world appear to hold enormous unconventional potential,” Al-Falih said, speaking at the World Energy Congress in Daegu, South Korea.
He added that Aramco’s unconventional gas programme explorations in the frontier Northern Region of Saudi Arabia have proven fruitful enough that the company is set to commit gas for the development of a 1,000 megawatt (MW) power plant.
“[The plant] will feed a massive phosphate mining and manufacturing centre,” he added.
Fertilizer producer Mosaic announced in August that it has entered into a shareholder agreement with mining company Ma’aden and chemicals producer SABIC to collaborate on a $7bn phosphate production complex in Saudi Arabia, known as Wa’ad Al-Shammal.
According to Al-Falih, unconventional gas has expanded the world’s technically recoverable gas resources by 30,000 trillion cubic feet (tcf).
Global resources of oil are also at their highest levels ever and are continuously expanding, he added.
“Current proven reserves of 1.6 trillion barrels, which equate to a half-century of global oil production at current rates, are at their highest level ever. And these numbers will continue to rise with increased exploration and improved recovery,” he said.
Aramco is seeking to increase its average of conventional oil recoveries to 70%.