Saudi Aramco commissions gas pipeline

Saudi Aramco has completed a key natural gas pipeline project to extend the kingdom's master gas system from the eastern province to Riyadh, where it will serve a major electric generating station. The pipeline project is part of the $2 billion Hawiyah gas project and will free up crude for export.


RIYADH�Saudi Aramco has completed a key natural gas pipeline project to extend the kingdom's master gas system from the eastern province to Riyadh, where it will serve a major electric generating station.

The 800-km pipeline is designed to cater, to a considerable extent, to demand for natural gas in the central region, estimated to be 740 MMcfd. A major consumer for the gas is the Saudi Electric Co.

The first shipment of gas through the pipeline began May 2, from the Shedgum gas plant to unit No. 9 of the SEC central power plant. SEC's plant in the central region has been using oil as a boiler fuel.

The pipeline project is part of the $2 billion Hawiyah gas field project and will free up crude for export. The pipeline ties the Hawiyah project, scheduled for completion in mid-2001, to the central region via the Shedgun plant, according to a Saudi Aramco statement.

Hawiyah's production of 1.5 bcfd of gas is earmarked for the SEC central plant.

Work started on the pipeline project in September 1998 with the major contractors being a joint-venture group of Italy's Siapem SPA and Argentina's Techint SA, in addition to more than six Saudi Aramco units. The work, completed on schedule, included installing and upgrading about 800 km of pipeline and associated facilities, said Osama al Junaid, manager of Saudi Aramco's gas-gathering projects division.

He added final segments of the pipeline which will serve SEC central power plants Nos. 7 and 8 are scheduled to be installed in July and August, respectively.

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