Gas in Saudi Arabia

Gas Production95.8Mtoe per year

Amount in place22.2thousand Mtoe

Gas Recoverable Reserves7.49thousand Mtoe

Saudi Arabia is a noteworthy country in terms of natural gas due to both their significant natural gas potential and current natural gas utilisation. As of 2014, Saudi Arabia’s total proved natural gas reserves were 8488.9 bcm, which gave them the sixth most proved natural gas reserves globally and the third most in the Middle East specifically. This huge base of proved natural gas reserves has allowed Saudi Arabia to be a large natural gas producer throughout the years.

Saudi Arabia produced 102.4 bcm of natural gas in 2014, which made them the eighth largest natural gas producer in the world. Additionally, it marked the fifth consecutive year of increasing natural gas production in Saudi Arabia, illustrating that Saudi Arabia has emphasised growing their domestic production in order to continue to meet their energy demand.

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia was the world’s fifth largest consumer of natural gas in 2014 as they consumed 108.2 bcm. The country’s natural gas consumption has continued to grow as has natural gas’s role in Saudi Arabia’s current energy mix. In 2014, natural gas made up ~40.7% of Saudi Arabia’s primary energy consumption.

Currently, Saudi Arabia does not import or export natural gas and therefore they have not established themselves as a global natural gas supplier even though they produce significant amounts of it. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has been able to achieve important energy security of supply due to the fact that they only rely on themselves to meet their natural gas consumption. However, this also means that Saudi Arabia will have to continue to produce at a high levels going forward to meet their domestic demand.

Saudi Arabia has also pursued becoming a shale gas producer in the coming years and is now expected to produce shale gas by 2020. Furthermore, Saudi Aramco plans to invest an additional $7bn into developing Saudi Arabia’s shale gas resources. In order to fully take advantage of their shale gas potential, Saudi Arabia will need to address permeability, water scarcity, and workforce concerns.

Note

Gas data represents natural gas only, for unconventional gas please refer country notes within the WER 2013 report gas chapter.