Note: to put this article in perspective, some background posts --
- Saudi Arabia is making some big bets on natural gas as a push to clean up its energy mix.
- According to Saudi Arabia, its much-hyped Jafurah field has an estimated 200 trillion cubic feet of gas (TcF).
Arabia will probably need gas production of around 23-25 Bcf/d within
the next 15 years just to cover its own power and industrial demand. [365 days x 25 billion cf per day = 9,000 billion = 9 trillion cubic feet / year; let's round that to 10 trillion; 10 / 200 = 5%]
Saudi Aramco’s request for bids from local and international companies to build out a water desalination plant project in the Jafurah shale gas field brings back into focus the Kingdom’s claims to be at the forefront of the global energy transition towards cleaner energy through the reduction of carbon emissions.
As with many of its biggest claims regarding its oil industry – analyzed most recently here – this claim regarding its drive towards cleaner energy is also extremely misleading, and would also appear to align with the country’s alleged attempts to lobby the UN to play down the need to move rapidly away from fossil fuels.
Saudi Arabia announced with much fanfare early in 2020 that it is to spend at least US$110 billion on the Jafurah gas project, with the intention being that it would become the world’s third-largest gas producer by 2030, after the U.S., and Russia, and a net exporter of gas by that time.
As even Aramco has noticed that Saudi Arabia does not have abundant freshwater supplies - its chief executive officer, Amin Nasser, keenly observed early on that ‘we are not rich with water’ – the company will use seawater instead for the fracking process, hence the new contracts for a desalination plant.
According to the Saudis, the Jafurah field has an estimated 200 trillion cubic feet of gas (TcF), a figure that should be taken in the context of all other Saudi energy reserves estimates but let us pretend for the purposes of debate that it is true. In the meantime, Aramco has natural gas reserves supposedly of 319.5 trillion cubic feet (TcF), according to figures released in 2019. This number had bewilderingly increased from the previous 302.3 TcF just a year before and even more bewilderingly just a couple of years before it had been 233.8 TcF.......
The Beatles Abbey Road ...
... How It Should Have Been