Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabian Oil Co. will start pumping natural gas from the Madiyan field in the northern part of the kingdom in 2013 to fuel power plants on the west coast, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.
The gas will replace the diesel currently used at the power plants, al-Naimi said.
Gas from Madiyan will be delivered via pipeline to the Red Sea port city of Duba in Tabuk province, Khalid Al-Falih, chief executive officer of the state-owned company, known as Aramco, told the agency.
Aramco will drill seven exploration wells in deep and shallow water of the Red Sea, off the coast of Tabuk province, Al-Falih said.
Al-Naimi said Oct. 9 that Aramco had discovered a natural gas field in the northern part of the Red Sea, 26 kilometers (16 miles) northwest of Duba. He said Aramco will drill more wells to appraise the field.
Aramco has set a Jan. 21 deadline for engineering, procurement and construction tenders for the Madiyan project, MEED project magazine said on its website today.
The non-associated gas processing project will cost about $800 million and it will produce 75 million cubic feet a day of gas and 4,500 barrels a day of condensate for a 20-year period, MEED reported without saying where it got the information.
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