The largest proposed network covers the installation of a 2,600-3,200-kilometre pipeline, with capacity of 4,260 million cf/d. It will be located in the Western Region and will run from Tabuk/Yanbu, Mecca and Jeddah and to Jizan. A 560-kilometre, 2,550 million-cf/d pipeline has also been proposed to be built from Al-Kharj, Riyadh, Sudair and Qassim and to Hail in the Central Region. For the Eastern Province, the study has suggested the installation of a 120-kilometre, 350 million-cf/d network to link Al-Hasa and Al-Oqair. Initial project costs are estimated to be $3,000 million-4,000 million. Gas for the proposed network is targeted to be supplied from the Saudi Aramco-operated east-west main line.

The next stage in project implementation will be the launch of a detailed study. ‘The initial study has been limited to the boundaries of cities,’ says a Dhahran-based industry executive. ‘A detailed study will identify the route of the pipelines, project economics and related issues.’

The client is the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The scheme is part of efforts by the Petroleum & Mineral Resources Ministry to seek private sector participation in the kingdom’s oil and gas sector.

At present, the master gas system (MGS) covering gas-gathering and fractionation infrastructure linking all onshore and offshore gas-oil separation plants (GOSPs) is the main network for the distribution of sales gas in the kingdom.

Owned and operated by Aramco, it was built in the late 1970s. Ongoing new oil field developments will increase its gas delivery capacity to more than 13,000 million cf/d from about 7,800 million cf/d (MEED 23:9:05).