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Saudi Arabia announces new oil and gas finds, including unconventional resources

Highlights

Discoveries include unconventional oil at Al-Reesh field

Al-Reesh produced Arab Extra Light oil and gas

Unconventional gas found near giant Ghawar oil field

Dubai — Saudi Arabia has discovered four new oil and gas fields, including unconventional resources, the country's energy minister said Dec. 27.

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State-run oil giant Saudi Aramco is working to determine the exact size and resource volume of the new finds, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The fields, if productive, will boost Aramco's plans to increase its maximum sustained crude production capacity from the current 12 million b/d to 13 million b/d, as well as its aim of developing its gas resources to free up more oil for export instead of burning it for power generation.

Those ambitions, however, may be impacted by severe spending cuts implemented by Aramco, amid the 2020 oil price crash caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In the announcement, Prince Abdulaziz said that unconventional oil had been discovered in the Al-Reesh field northwest of Dhahran and the Al-Ajramiah field northwest of Rafhaa city in the Northern Borders province.

Al-Reesh Well No. 2 is producing 4,452 b/d of Arab Extra Light oil, as well as 3.2 MMcf/d of gas, the minister said.

Aramco has also drilled a third and fourth well at Al-Reesh to assess the size of the field. Well No. 3 is flowing at a rate of 2,745 b/d of Arab Extra Light and 3 MMcf/d of gas, while Well No. 4 is producing 3,654 b/d of Arab Extra Light and 1.6 MMcf/d of gas, the minister added.

The Al-Reesh discovery is important because it shows the possibility of pumping Arab Extra Light crude from the Tuwaiq Mountain Formation, Prince Abdulaziz said.

At Al-Ajramiah, Well No. 1 is producing at a rate of 3,850 b/d, the report stated.

Aramco also discovered unconventional gas at the Al-Sarrah reservoir in the Al-Minahhaz well, southwest of Ghawar, the world's largest conventional oil field, as well as at the Al-Sahbaa well, south of Ghawar. Gas from the Al-Minahhaz well flowed at a rate of 18 MMcf/d, along with 98 b/d of condensate, while the Al-Sahbaa well produced 32 MMcf/d of gas, the report stated.

The discoveries add to two other new fields found in the north of the kingdom, according to an Aug. 30 report by state-owned Saudi TV – the Hadbat al-Harjah gas field in Al-Jawf and the Abraq al-Talul oil and gas field in the Northern Borders province.