Saudi Aramco said on Feb. 22 it had received regulatory approval to develop Saudi Arabia’s Jafurah non-associated gas field and expects production to start in early 2024.

The company said output would reach about 2.2 billion cubic feet per day of sales gas by 2036, with an associated 425 million cubic feet per day of ethane. The field would produce some 550,000 barrels per day of gas liquids and condensates.

Gas reserves in Jafurah, the largest unconventional non-associated gas field in the kingdom, are estimated at 200 trillion cubic feet of raw gas, the company said in a statement.

Development of the field, if successful, would make Saudi Arabia the world’s third largest gas producer by 2030, according to a Saudi energy ministry infographic issued on Feb. 22. The OPEC producer, the world’s top oil exporter, aims to become a gas exporter by then.

Aramco plans to invest $110 billion to develop Jafurah, state news agency SPA said on Feb. 21, and cited Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as saying the field's development would provide the state with annual net income of $8.6 billion.

Aramco, which went public last December by listing about a 1.7% stake on the Saudi bourse, said it expects the development of Jafurah to have a positive financial impact in the long term “which will start to show on the Company's financial results in phases concurrent to the field’s development.”

Jafurah lies southeast of Ghawar, the world’s largest conventional oil field. Unconventional gas refers to reserves requiring advanced extraction methods, such as those used in the shale gas industry. Non-associated gas is not a by-product of oil production.

The energy ministry infographic said production from the field would be prioritized to develop domestic industries, including mining, as well as power generation and water desalination.