Arabian fracking: Saudis drill for shale
March 19, 2013, 5:12 PM MARKETWATCH
By Claudia Assis
After much resistance and a mix of disdain and resentfulness, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries suddenly decided to embrace fracking, The Wall Street Journal’s MarketBeat said.
That means, of course, that it’s really Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest member and frequent dissenter among the organization’s ranks, that has done the embracing. Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi told reporters in Hong Kong the kingdom intends to remain an energy powerhouse, partly by adopting new technology.
Naimi estimated Saudi Arabia has roughly 600 trillion cubic feet of unconventional shale gas. “The potential is very huge and we plan to exploit it,” he told The Wall Street Journal on Monday.
The Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration says Saudi Arabia’s proven natural-gas reserves are 288 trillion cubic feet as of the end of 2012. That’s the fifth largest behind Russia, Iran, Qatar and the U.S., the EIA said.
Saudi state-controlled oil and gas company Aramco puts known natural-gas reserves at the fourth largest in the world. Aramco said finding additional gas reserves is a top priority.