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Saudi Arabia

Gas Reserves and Production Capacity

In the Saudi fields, dissolved gas is associated under pressure with the crude oil in the reservoir. When the reservoir is penetrated by a production well, the pressure causes the crude oil mixed with the associated gas to rise freely to the surface. In Al Ghawar field, for example, 15 cubic meters of gas are extracted for every barrel of oil, while As Saffaniyah field produces 26 cubic meters of gas for every crude oil barrel. In numerous gas-oil separation plants (GOSPs), the associated gas is separated from the crude oil. In addition, a number of fields containing only natural gas have been discovered. In the late 1970s, the government estimated total gas reserves, including associated gas, at 2.4 trillion cubic meters, or about 3 percent of known world gas deposits. By 1991 gas reserves in Saudi Aramco's fields were estimated at about 5.1 trillion cubic meters, while gas reserves in the Divided Zone were estimated at 170 billion cubic meters. The ratio of reserves to current production has remained relatively steady at 100 to 115 years since the mid-1980s.

Data as of December 1992