In the 1970s Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves far exceeded those of any other nation. In order to make the crude suitable for pipeline transmission, storage and export, approximately 500 cubic feet of natural gas had to be separated from every barrel of oil.
In 1975, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requested that ARAMCO construct and operate the largest gas gathering and processing system ever undertaken at that time in the hydrocarbon industry. The gas gathering program includes facilities throughout Saudi Arabia at locations that included Shedgum, Uthmaniyah, Ju’aymah, Berri, Jubail, and Yanbu. The terminal at Ju’aymah was to be the world’s largest offshore LPG loading terminal at the time.
The system was designed to process more than three billion standard cubic feet per day (scfd) of sour gas feed. The total daily production capacity of the new system was two billion cubic feet of sweet dry gas, 375 million cubic feet of ethane, 300,000 barrels per day of export liquid products, and 3,700 tons of sulfur.
In May 1980, the first ocean-going tanker took on product at the newly completed Ju’aymah fractionation center and LPG terminal, a portion of many called the world’s largest gas conservation project.