(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi arabia's natural gas reserves rose last year as it explored for the fuel in the red sea and tapped shale gas to free more crude oil for export according to saudi aramco.
saudi reserves increased to 288 trillion cubic feet of gas last year from 285 trillion in 2012 saudi aramco said its annual review.
saudi aramco is ready to use shale gas to fuel a 1000-mw plant that will feed electricity to a large phosphate mining project bloomberg said citing the report.
'saudi arabia will be among the first countries outside north america to use shale gas for domestic power generation" the company said.
'we are actively exploring for unconventional gas resources" which may be large in scale it said.
the shale gas drive will help the kingdom free more diesel and crude oil for export the company said.
gas is needed because domestic demand for energy has increased to the point where oil volumes intended for export 'may decline to unacceptably low levels in the coming two decades" it said.
saudi aramco said it is looking for unconventional gas in the northwest the empty quarter desert and near ghawar the world's largest oil field.
a 'significant" gas field discovered in the red sea called shaur is also 'a potential game-changer in the future of the kingdom's energy mix" the company said.
saudi aramco increased gas production last year to 11 billion cubic feet a day compared with 10.72 billion in 2012 it said in the review.