Saudi Arabia’s Jafurah Basin is by far the largest unconventional gas play in the Middle East and is becoming an increasingly crucial part of the kingdom’s future energy mix. The Ministry of Energy this week announced an increase in the field’s resource base just weeks after directing Aramco to halt work on expanding crude oil capacity to free up finances for alternative investments.

The symbolism of the timing underlines the extent to which Aramco’s upstream development focus is increasingly pivoting to gas. While Aramco is continuing with multi-$bn oilfield expansion projects, it is allowing capacity elsewhere to decline to maintain its overall crude output capacity at 12mn b/d. In contrast to this, Saudi Arabia aims to double sales gas output to 18.5bn cfd by 2030 against a 2021 baseline (see chart). (CONTINUED - 851 WORDS)