The Master Gas System is operated by Saudi Aramco. It was developed to transport gas across the kingdom, support industrial facilities and reduce the reliance of power stations on oil as feedstock.

Construction started in the mid-1970s and the system became fully operational in 1982. Gas processing plants in the network include Shedgum, Uthmaniyah and Bern. Hawiyah, in the Ghawar oil field, was commissioned in 2002, and produces 1.4 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas. Haradh, in the Eastern Province, added 1.4 billion cf/d of capacity in 2003. Together, they raised the capacity of the Master Gas System by about 30 per cent to an estimated 8.8 billion cf/d.

The latest expansion, due to be completed by 2021, is being undertaken to meet increased gas demand in the kingdom’s central and western regions. Once completed, the network will be able to transport 9.6 billion cf/d using booster gas compressor stations and pumping stations.

China’s Sepco was awarded a $1.3bn deal for two booster compressor stations in 2014. The firm then won an estimated $750m engineering, procurement and construction contract on the compressor booster station for phase two a year later. The local KAD Construction was awarded three pipeline packages worth a total of $1bn in 2016.