The Saudi Arabia’s national oil company said it will employ new technologies to find and extract the oil.
According to the company’s vice president for upstream operations, Amin Nasser, the company also expects to increase its natural gas production by 40% by 2014.
Nasser told the CeraWeek conference in Houston that to enable it do this,the company is looking to frontier areas in the deep and shallow waters of the Red Sea.
He said shallow-water exploration has already begun while deep-water operations would begin by the end of this year.
He said new technology will play a major role in Aramco’s exploration and production push, which will also involve development of Saudi Arabia’s “huge” unconventional gas resources.
The company is already starting to employ nanotechnology for “reservoir sensing” and other geophysical evaluations, Naser said.
Only a few years ago, Aramco considered this a “blue sky target”, but the technology has now been taken “from the lab to the field” and is being used for things like “smart sensing”, he said.
Aramco will also look to enhanced drilling techniques like “smart water flooding” to improve production rates. These technologies will allow the company to extract 70% of the oil from existing fields, up from 50% currently, Nasser said.