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Aramco’s Shaybah Natural Gas Liquids project in the Saudi desert

The Shaybah field project is a testament to the abilities of Saudi Aramco to complete complex industrial projects despite the challenges of logistics, terrain, climate and complexity. Recent developments in the field demonstrate that vision is not limited to what eyes can see; rather, it extends alongside the ambitions of Saudi Arabia and its economy, as captured in Vision 2030 and its new horizons for diversified and sustainable economic development. Shaybah is located in the high dunes of the Rub' al-Khali (Empty Quarter), where Arabian Extra Light (AXL) oil was discovered in in 1968. Shaybah’s proven reserves are estimated at approximately 14.3 billion barrels of oil and approximately 25 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas. But there are very few places in the world where oil operations could be more difficult than Shaybah, and no field development took place for three decades.
When the initial Shaybah project started in the late 1990s, there were no paved roads or other infrastructure; all Shaybah had was rugged tracks and a few scattered water wells previously used by exploration crews. However, over the course of several years a major upstream production complex took shape, with an initial capacity of 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil. More recently, two new projects were carried out by Saudi Aramco in Shaybah: the Oil Field Expansion Project and the Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) Recovery Project.

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