Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter of crude, discovered four new oil and gas fields, the kingdom's minister of energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz said on Sunday.
State oil firm Saudi Aramco discovered 4,452 barrels of unconventional oil and 3.2 million standard cubic feet of gas at Well No. 2 in Al Reesh oil field, north west of Dhahran, according to a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
Non-conventional gas has also been discovered at Al Sarrah reservoir at Al Minahhaz well, south-west of the Ghawar oil field, and at al-Sahbaa well, south of Ghawar. Al Minahhaz well has a capacity to produce about 18 million standard cubic feet of gas and 98 barrels of condensate per day, while Al Sahbaa well will produce 32 million standard cubic feet.
On top of these, oil has been discovered at Al Ajramiyah Well No. 1, with a well test showing a daily production rate of 3,850 barrels per day. The well lies north west of the city of Rafhaa in the Northern Borders Province.
The discovery at Al Reesh is considered important "as it shows that it is possible to produce Arab extra light crude oil at the Tuwaiq mountain formation", the statement said.
Aramco has drilled two more wells at Al Reesh, No. 3 and No. 4, to determine its size. Well No. 3 is initially producing 2,745 barrels of oil and 3 million standard cubic feet of gas per day. Well No. 4 is producing 3,654 barrels and 1.6 million standard cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Saudi Aramco "continues to work on determining the size and volume of discovered fields and estimating the amount of oil, gas, and condensate in these fields", the minister said in the statement. The new discoveries "underline the wealth of natural resources the kingdom has at its disposal", he said.
Saudi Arabia accounts for about 17 per cent of the world's proven petroleum reserves. The oil and gas sector accounts for about 50 per cent of gross domestic product, and about 70 per cent of export earnings.
In February, the UAE discovered 80 trillion cubic feet of shallow gas reserves in an area straddling the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the biggest find in 15 years. The Turkmen gasfield – the world's second-largest – was discovered in 2005 and is estimated to hold about 500 trillion cf of gas.
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