Saudi Aramco is in the process of identifying fields whose production can be boosted with enhanced oil recovery when a new 9 million mt/year carbon capture hub at the industrial complex of Jubail comes online in 2027, a senior official said to S&P Global Commodity Insights.
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Saudi Aramco, the world's largest crude exporter, is scheduled to reach a production capacity target of 13 million b/d by 2027, but the official said the carbon injection projects would not contribute to an increase beyond that goal.
"We have identified the fields we want to be injecting that [CO2] in. This is what we're doing right now, we're just making sure that they're developed, they're delineated," Samer Ashgar, Aramco's senior vice president, exploration, told S&P Global on the sidelines of an energy industry event in Bahrain on Feb. 19.
"One of the things we are talking about is how do we make sure that we optimize the CO2 injection, the capex costs for the injection. That's the stuff that we're working on. That's the stuff that we're finding right now," he added.
Aramco is developing the carbon capture hub in the Red Sea-facing industrial city of Jubail as part of its plans to reach net-zero by 2050.
The Jubail plant is expected to be further scaled up to have a capacity of 44 million mt/year by 2035.
The Saudi state oil company is working with oil services giant, SLB and chemicals company, Linde, to establish the carbon capture hub to which Aramco is expected to contribute 6 million mt in the initial phase.
Some of the carbon dioxide captured in the hub will be used to maximize production from select Aramco-operated fields from 2027 onward. However, there will be no incremental capacity addition following enhanced oil recovery through CO2 injection, Ashgar said.
"Right now we're maintaining 13 million b/d [capacity] for the near future. That's a call on the company to reach that," the official said.
"Again, we respond to that as well. I'm confident with the resources that we have, that we can meet the kingdom's demand, and as well as the global demand," the official added.
Saudi Arabia's energy minister has previously warned that the world was underinvesting in oil and gas and urged hydrocarbon producers to add more capacity to meet future demand for crude.
Saudi Arabia is aiming to raise its sustainable production capacity to 12.3 million by 2025 and eventually 13 million b/d by 2027, Aramco said.
Aramco has previously said the capacity additions would come in increments and offset some natural declines, with its Dammam field set to provide 75,000 b/d by 2024, and the offshore Marjan and Berri fields expected to add 300,000 b/d and 250,000 b/d, respectively, by 2025.
The expansion of the Zuluf field is projected to add another 600,000 b/d by 2026, with the Safaniyah development also set to add 700,000 b/d by late 2027.
Ashgar said the company's planned 1 million b/d capacity addition was on track with no delays limiting the growth by the 2027 timeline.
"That's normal, challenging project management activities. Nothing that will delay our production and hitting that 1 million additional barrels," the official said.
Ashgar was responding to a question that the 1.3 million b/d Arabian heavy crude producing Safaniyah field, which lies offshore, was facing delays in adding incremental capacity due to reports of a slowdown in issuing various tender packages relating to its development.