SAUDI ARABIA. Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest crude exporter, pumped 9.1 million barrels a day of oil on average last year, the state-run company known as Saudi Aramco said in its annual review.
Average daily output rose 15% from 2010, according to the review posted today on Aramco’s website. Reserves of crude oil and condensates fell 0.2% to 259.7 billion barrels compared with the previous year, while deposits of natural gas increased 1.3 percent to 282.6 trillion standard cubic feet, it said.
Saudi Arabia has started a program to explore for energy resources in frontier areas including the Red Sea, Ali al-Naimi, the country’s oil minister, said at a May 14 conference in Adelaide, Australia.
The government wants to increase the recovery rate at the country’s biggest producing fields to 70% from 50%, he said. The desert kingdom is exploring for gas, a fuel used in power plants, to help meet rising domestic demand for electricity.
Aramco’s annual oil output rose to 3.31 billion barrels from 2.89 billion barrels in 2010, it said. Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries boosted crude production last year to the highest level in three decades as supply was disrupted from Libya.
Saudi Arabia is developing its gas resources to power new industries such as petrochemicals, helping the country reduce its dependence on oil export income.
Saudi Aramco said it expects to complete the construction of its Wasit gas plant in 2014 that will process 2.5 billion cubic feet a day of non-associated gas from Hasbah and Arabiya offshore fields. The plant will be able to handle as much as 3.05 billion cubic feet a day from the two fields at times of peak demand.
It expects to complete its natural gas liquids project at Shaybah in the Empty Quarter desert in 2014, according to the report. The plant will produce ethane for use in petrochemicals, it said. Saudi Aramco may start using carbon dioxide to aid recovery rates at Ghawar, its largest field, in 2013, according to the report.