DUBAI - State-owned oil giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Saudi Aramco, has discovered a new gas field 26 kilometers northwest of the port of Daba in the Red Sea, the kingdom's oil minister Ali al-Naimi said, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency, or SPA.
Gas flowed at the rate of 10 million cubic feet a day when a test well was done at the depth of 17,700 feet, Mr. Naimi is cited as saying.
Saudi Aramco will continue to evaluate the gas in this well and more wells would be drilled to evaluate the size of the field, he added.
Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, plans to greatly increase gas production to meet domestic energy demand and free up crude oil for export. However, the country hasn't yet discovered non-associated natural gas in sufficient quantities to replace oil as the fuel for its planned electricity plants and guarantee cheap feedstock for new petrochemical factories.
Aramco is one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world with activities in exploration, production, refining, distribution, shipping and marketing.
The firm's gas production averaged 9.9 billion cubic feet per day in 2011, up from 9.4 billion cubic feet per day in 2010, while gas reserves rose to 282.6 trillion standard cubic feet from 279 trillion standard cubic feet.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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