Saudi Arabia is prioritizing development of its gas sector to meet domestic demand despite the economic pressures of low oil prices. Additional gas is urgently needed to tackle the kingdom’s growing levels of crude burn and provide feedstock for refining & petchems plants. Rig count figures from US oilfield services firm Baker Hughes show that while the number of active rigs operating in Saudi Arabia has dipped slightly since December, gas activity remains resilient.

The gas rig count averaged 58 in Q1 2016, the highest quarterly figure on record (see chart). And indications are that this resilience will continue as the kingdom continues to sign new gas development contracts. (CONTINUED - 877 WORDS)