Aramco starts testing Al Wasit gas programme
Plant will be one of the largest gas facilities not linked to oil wells ever built by Saudi Aramco
Saudi Aramco has started testing parts of its Al Wasit gas programme, raising hopes it could begin part operations this summer, Reuters has reported.
The plant, located north of Jubail, Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, will be one of the largest gas plants not linked to oil wells ever built by Saudi Aramco.
The $4.7bn Al Wasit gas programme includes the development of Arabiyah and Hasbah gas fields located offshore Saudi Arabia in the Arabian Gulf.
Al Wasit is one of the new gas plants which will raise the raw gas feed for the master gas system (MGS) to almost 20bn standard cubic feet per day (Bscfd), Aramco has said.
“They have fed gas to boilers from the master gas system because gas from the fields is not ready yet but they want to bring at least one gas train from the plant and one train from the sulphur recovery unit online before June,” one source told Reuters.
Construction of the main gas plant is almost complete and is expected to start “very soon”, said another source, adding that "the target is to start at least one train or 20-25% of the capacity up and running".
However, while flare and boilers are operating, boilers are currently operating, the plant won’t be fully operational before the end of the year or the first quarter of 2016, the sources reported.
Once operational, the project will have the capacity to produce 1.75bn standard cubic feet per day (scfd) of sales gas during normal operation and up to 3.05bn scfd during the peak summer season.
The gas will be used for electric power generation and industrial feedstock, as domestic demand in the Kingdom rises.
The Al Wasit gas programme is estimated to increase Saudi Arabia's gas production capacity by 21%, with combined output from the Wasit fields and the Karan gas field projected to increase Saudi Aramco's gas output by approximately 40%.
Aramco plans another new plant in Abqaiq as part of its strategic plan called the “Peak Seasonal Production” (PSP), which last year saved the Kingdom 9bn barrels of crude oil, the company said.