In 2014, these costs ranged from an average of $7 a barrel for the Ghawar field
in Saudi Arabia, to $21 a barrel in the offshore Norwegian fields, to $51 a barrel in the Bakken shale in the United States.
The growth in production is unprecedented, exceeding all historical records, even Saudi Arabia after production from the mega Ghawar field
or Soviet gas production from the super Siberian fields," Birol said.
They (Exxon) wanted us to turn over highly restricted information about our Ghawar field
, for instance, that isn't even known within the kingdom outside of the oil ministry and Saudi Aramco," Naimi writes about gas talks between oil majors and Aramco at the end of the 1990s.
3 Saudi Arabia's Ghawar field
is the largest in the world and has an estimated 75 billion barrels of oil left.
He pointed out that Saudi Arabia works on digging up to five experimental wells of shale gas in the Ghawar Field
and in other fields near borders with Jordan.
Initially, the three mooted gas projects focused on a $15 billion scheme to develop gas reserves in South Ghawar field
and two minor $5bn ventures that involved gas production for petrochemical, power and water desalination projects.
The proximity of its deposits to the surface allows an easy exploitation, while the dire size of its deposits (just the Ghawar field
close to Bahrain holds more oil than the United States) creates economies of scale in infrastructure investments.
West Qurna is central to Iraq's oil expansion plans, with enough reserves to pump more than 5 million barrels per day (bpd), and it could rival the world's biggest producer, Saudi Arabia's Ghawar field
, when its two phases are running fully.
The Ghawar field
, measuring 280km by 30km, is by far the largest conventional oilfield in the world.
Al-Faleh gave an example of an investment worth hundreds of millions of dollars in a project that is a part of the development of the Ghawar field
in Saudi Arabia, and said: Aramco is preparing for oil exploration in the Red Sea, and deep water drilling will begin there in 2012.
If converted to barrel of oil equivalents, South Pars would dwarf the reserves of Saudi Arabia's giant Ghawar field
Located approximately 200 kilometers (124 miles) from the city of Dhahran, the Ghawar field
is the world's largest oil field and the contract would involve work in Uthmaniyah, Haradh, Hawiyah and Shedgum.