Saudi Aramco almost completes Wasit project

Updated 21 September 2015
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Saudi Aramco almost completes Wasit project

ALKHOBAR: Saudi Aramco has almost finished the construction of its giant Wasit gas project but is processing gas from the Karan gas field and not from the offshore fields designated to feed the gas plant, industry sources said.
In April, industry sources said the national oil company had started testing parts of the plant with gas from Aramco's Master Gas System (MGS), raising hopes that gas from Wasit would help meet domestic demand during the Kingdom's peak summer season.
One industry source familiar with the matter said the plant is not expected to start processing non-associated gas, which contains no oil, from offshore sour gas fields Arabiyah and Hasbah before the end of the year due to technical difficulties.
Gas from Arabiyah and Hasbah has a high hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide content which Aramco needs to strip from the sales gas, or methane, by a process that passes through monoethylene glycol (MEG) and diglycolamine (DGA) units.
"If these plants are not scaled to the required capacity to remove all the H2S and C02 content of the Wasit inlet gas, it would mean the sales gas impurities would be higher than what the national gas grid can accept," said Sadad Al-Husseini, a former senior executive at Saudi Aramco. "The solution would be to expand the capacity of these units and process a smaller volume of inlet gas in the interim period," he said.
"This is not a big technical issue but it means the project will not operate at full capacity until the sour gas processing expansion is completed."
"This delay is not critical because the peak gas demand season is now almost over and because gas reserves are huge and Aramco has always been committed to maintaining very strict standards of plant safety and reliability," said Al-Husseini.
Saudi Aramco declined to comment on the report.
The Wasit gas program is split into several offshore and onshore units. Onshore Aramco has built a central processing facility, natural gas liquids fractionation facilities and a sulfur recovery unit.
The Hasbah field has much higher H2 and CO2 than Arabiyah.
From its seven single-well platforms, it feeds the gas processing facility up to 1.3 billion standard cubic feet per day (scfd) while Arabiyah provides around 1.2 billion scfd.


Brent eases from 2019 highs as markets await US-China trade talks outcome

Updated 19 February 2019
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Brent eases from 2019 highs as markets await US-China trade talks outcome

  • The slight downward correction was driven by concerns about the health of the global economy this year
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch expects Brent prices to average between $50 and $70 per barrel

SINGAPORE: Brent crude oil prices eased away from 2019 highs on Tuesday on caution that economic growth may dent fuel demand this year, although supply cuts led by OPEC still meant markets were relatively tight.
International Brent crude oil futures were at $66.08 per barrel at 0220 GMT, down 42 cents, or 0.6 percent from their last close, but still not far off the 2019 high of $66.83 a barrel hit in the previous session.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $55.71 per barrel. While that was up 12 cents from their last settlement, it was below the $56.33 2019 high from the previous day.
Traders said the slight downward correction was driven by concerns about the health of the global economy this year.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note that the Sino-American trade dispute was hurting economic growth globally.
“Addressing global trade tensions is key for improving the economic outlook,” it said in a note.
China’s vice premier and chief trade negotiator, Liu He, and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer lead a round of trade talks this week in Washington.
Considering the economic outlook and supply and demand balances, the bank said it expects Brent prices to average between $50 and $70 per barrel, “anchored around $60.”
Despite some caution around trade, global oil markets remain relatively tight because of supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), with top crude exporter Saudi Arabia cutting the most.
Saudi seaborne crude exports fell in the first half of February, with departures standing at 6.204 million barrels per day (bpd), a 1.341 million bpd decline on the previous month and 0.91 million bpd decline on the year, data intelligence firm Kpler said.
Further providing oil markets with support are US sanctions against petroleum exporters Iran and Venezuela.
Venezuela is a major crude supplier to US refineries while Iran is a key exporter to major demand centers in Asia, especially China and India.