Saudi Arabia is serious about developing an outlook for a future beyond oil and appears to be fast-tracking its move towards diversifying its resources.
The kingdom recently announced that state-owned Saudi Aramco is investing a whopping $110 billion to develop an unconventional and vast gas field.
In a meeting chaired by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the Higher Committee for Hydrocarbons revealed plans to enhance the Al-Jafurah gas field, which is based in the country's Eastern Province. The expansive field holds an estimated 200 trillion cubic feet of liquid gas in its reserves. Its development will eventually increase the kingdom's "gas production to 2.2 trillion cubic feet in 2036, which would represent about 25 percent of current production."
In his official statement on the matter, MBS explained that the field's development will make the kingdom one of the most important gas producers in the world.
"The development of the field along with the Kingdom's programs in developing renewable energies will achieve the best mix of energy consumption locally and support its record in protecting and sustaining the environment," he added.
He also explained that the production of gas and liquids will be handed over to local sectors "operating in industry, electricity, water desalination, mining and others."
The crown prince revealed that the project would earn an annual $8.6 billion as net income for the Saudi government within 22 years from its development. It will also generate an estimated $20 billion for the country's GDP annually which would lead to the creation of direct and indirect job opportunities for citizens.
The kingdom will no longer be oil-dependent
As the world's largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia has been hit with the global dip in oil prices. The kingdom's officials know that they have to intensify efforts to diversify the country's economy and resources so they've set plans to do that.
Led by MBS, the kingdom is now implementing guidelines to move towards becoming less oil-dependent under Vision 2030.
The ambitious blueprint mainly aims at diversifying the country's economy while highlighting the importance of developing new resources and focusing on renewable energy that will help lead Saudi Arabia into the future.