CEO remarks at Jafurah Contracts Signing Ceremony

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim. 

Your Royal Highness, Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. 

It is a pleasure to welcome you to Saudi Aramco. 

Today, we celebrate the commercialization of the Kingdom’s vast unconventional resources. 

And an even bigger and stronger gas business for Saudi Aramco.

I am especially grateful to His Royal Highness, the Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. 

He has always seen the potential of unconventional gas. 
And he was crucial in getting us over the line and making this historic day possible.

In fact, I have to say that without his tremendous support we would not have been successful in achieving this milestone. 

I also want to thank His Royal Highness, the Amir of the Eastern Province, Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz…

And His Excellency, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Chairman of Saudi Aramco’s Board of Directors...

…for their wisdom, leadership, and support. 

And to our domestic and international partners who join us today – you are most welcome.

Your collaboration, hard work, and belief have also been key to getting us here. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a rare honor to be present when big ambitions and real-world impact truly meet.

And, make no mistake, they do today. 

To begin with, this breakthrough in unconventional gas could not come at a better time for the energy transition. 

His Royal Highness, the Minister of Energy, recently identified three imperatives that would ensure a practical, stable, and inclusive one. 

Energy security.  Economic development.  And climate protection.

In many parts of the world, policy makers are failing to balance these three. 

Not here, I am proud to say. 

And gas itself ticks all three. 

It is a proven, reliable, and affordable energy source.  

It is the main option the world has to address the intermittency challenge renewables currently face.

And it emits around half of coal’s emissions in power generation.

So today is about celebrating the vital role of gas as a cornerstone of the transition, and an important, cleaner bridge to a sustainable energy future.

It is also a reflection of the bold aspirations of our beloved nation’s wise leadership, embodied in Vision 2030.  

It is a compelling example of the bold moves needed to enable the Kingdom to reach net-zero emissions by 2060. 

And how we at Saudi Aramco can achieve our net-zero ambition by 2050. 

But I believe today is about something even more inspiring and profound.

Many around the world have tried to develop unconventional resources. 

Only a few have succeeded like the Permian and Eagle Ford plays in Texas. 

And few people thought we could succeed in Saudi Arabia.
In fact, the early results were not very encouraging. 

We doubted if our unconventional fields would ever achieve the production rates, recovery rates, and cost levels we are used to seeing with conventional reservoirs. 

And that summed up the main problem. 

We could all see the potential.  

We knew that with increasing demand for energy and water in the Kingdom, it would be critical to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, liquid burning in utilities. 

And we knew that gas would be key to achieving higher efficiencies and lower emissions. 

But this was our moonshot.

And we were bringing conventional thinking to an unconventional challenge.

We quickly realized that a radical new mindset was needed.

So we created a totally separate organization, and challenged our team to think differently and act differently. 

To grow their own unique culture, bringing the best minds in the business together.

To use cutting-edge technology and techniques, drive down cost, and apply all this to our needs. 

In short, to do whatever it would take to make the Kingdom’s vast unconventional gas resources commercially viable. 

And to summon the spirit of Aramco’s first chief geologist, Max Steineke, who famously struck big when all seemed lost. 

It was a high risk play with high rewards.

Success was our only option.

The team made several wise strategic decisions early on. 

Perhaps the most important was defining the biggest challenge, which was the lack of know-how and data away from conventional fields.

So teams were sent out across the Kingdom on a rigorous data acquisition campaign.

With that data, they could build robust geological models to fully understand the complex sub-surface geology and develop a systematic de-risking strategy.  

Eventually, massive unconventional gas fields were discovered. 

Having identified all the sweet spots, the team adapted North American experience in drilling and completion designs to our own unique geological challenges. 


On top of this, they built a robust supply chain to provide materials and services at lower cost.

And created one of the most modern, cost-effective shale development schemes in the industry – with the highest safety, reliability, and environmental standards. 

Ten years later, the results are plain to see.

In particular, the gigantic, 17,000 square kilometer Jafurah basin – with an estimated 200 trillion standard cubic feet of gas in place – is where the pay-off is un-matched.  

By 2030, we expect Jafurah to provide approximately 2 billion standard cubic feet per day of sales gas. 

Furthermore, we managed to reduce drilling cost by 70% and stimulation cost by 90% since the 2014 cost benchmark, while increasing well productivity six-fold compared with the start of the program.

When you add Jafurah to the overall total, we anticipate almost half a million barrels per day of oil being replaced at peak production.  

And it will contribute to the avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions for the Kingdom’s power generation. 

Indeed, when you consider the Kingdom’s aim of generating 50% of its electricity from renewables and 50% from gas, Jafurah’s impact will be significant. 

Furthermore, reducing emissions in the power sector is just one aspect of how Jafurah fits with Aramco’s strategies.

Its ethane and NGL are highly valuable feedstocks for the Kingdom’s petrochemicals industry. 

So Jafurah will be a great enabler of our ambitions for chemicals.

On top of this, as the energy transition continues to unfold, the prospects for a global hydrogen economy continue to brighten. 

This is why Saudi Aramco has prioritized blue hydrogen and blue ammonia, and Jafurah gas is planned to be an important feedstock here too.

Last but not least, the Unconventional Resources program is also positioned to stimulate the local economy.  

We are aiming for over 70% localization in the upstream and petrochemical value chain by 2025.

And we hope that will create more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs. 

In other words, Jafurah is clearly a world-scale unconventional gas play. 

And to us in the Kingdom, it is the jewel in our unconventional gas revolution.  

Your Royal Highness, Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, this is a great day for the Kingdom and Saudi Aramco.

The promise of our unconventional resources is starting to be realized. 

And as this incredible team has shown the world, making the impossible possible is the key to everyone’s future on this planet. 

They have shown that hard work, new thinking, solving problems together, and never giving up does pay off.

They have made the company, the Kingdom, and the industry very proud. 

And they have inspired everyone in the company to aim higher. 

If we can do this in less than a decade, just imagine what else we can do!

Thank you.