April 8, 2010 - Saudi Aramco has announced plans to drill at least 300 development wells both on and offshore in addition to 48 exploratory wells this year. Falling global oil consumption due to the economic downturn has allowed the Kingdom to shift attention from oil to the booming gas industry, in which demand is growing by 7 percent annually. Roughly half of Saudi Aramco’s drilling this year will be aimed at gas, and exploratory drilling will account for 14 percent of all wells drilled, up from 5 percent in 2008. Drilling in two offshore non-associated gas fields, Arabiyah and Hasbah, is set to start by the end of the year, with the gas from these fields to be processed at Saudi Aramco’s new and biggest plant, Wasit, which has a capacity of 2.5 billion cubic feet per day (cfd). The Saudi Government also announced new gas findings in Jalamid, with tests showing a flow of 12.1 million cfd.