Saudi Aramco has discovered four new oil and gas fields, the Kingdom’s Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman said, as quoted by the Saudi Press Agency.
Two of the fields are unconventional deposits, the report said. One of these, al-Reesh, has three wells pumping oil, at a rate of a combined 10.851 barrels of Arab extra light crude and close to 8 million cu m of natural gas.
The other non-conventional deposit, al-Sirrah, produces mostly natural gas, at a rate of 18 million cu m daily, along with 98 barrels of condensate daily. Another well, also at the al-Sirrah deposit, is yielding natural gas only, at a daily rate of 32 million cu m.
The fourth discovery was made in northern Saudi Arabia, at the al-Ajramiyah well, which is pumping crude at a rate of 3,850 barrels daily.
The total recoverable reserves of the deposits tapped with the discoveries have yet to be determined, bin Salman said.
OPEC’s top producer and exporter, and the world’s second-largest oil producer, has been struggling with the effects of high oil supply coupled with demand devastation. The Kingdom has been among the most aggressive production control proponents in OPEC+, consistently producing less than its production quota under the latest output control agreement.
Even so, Riyadh had to revise its 2021 budget, cutting spending plans by 7 percent in response to the weak price environment. Riyadh will now spend some $264 billion next year, or 990 billion riyals, as it battles a substantial deficit resulting from the latest oil price collapse.
Earlier this year, the Kingdom was forced by oil market circumstances to implement some unpopular austerity measures, including a triple increase in value-added tax and the cancellation of so-called cost-of-living allowances for much of the population. While the government insisted these were not austerity measures, the fact of the matter was that the drop in oil revenues threatened the economy of OPEC’s number-one oil exporter.