Hyundai Engineering & Construction and Hyundai Engineering have inked a $2.4bn contract with Aramco for the construction of a gas processing plant for the Jafurah gas project phase two in Saudi Arabia.

The two companies are affiliates of South Korea-based Hyundai Motor Group.

The contract signing took place at a ceremony in Riyadh, attended by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who was on a state visit to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was also present at the event which marked the 50th anniversary of collaborative construction efforts between the two countries.

The contract awarded to the South Korean firms is for the ‘Jafurah Phase 2 – Package 2 Utilities, Sulfur, and Export Facilities Project.’

According to Aramco, the Jafurah gas field is the largest liquid-rich shale gas play in the Middle East. It is estimated to hold approximately 200 trillion standard cubic feet (scf) of natural gas, including condensates and natural gas liquids (NGL).

Aramco has projected that daily production could potentially reach approximately two billion cubic feet by the end of this decade.

Located in the Eastern Province, the Jafurah unconventional gas field secured regulatory approval for its development in early 2020.

Aramco expects to see an overall lifecycle investment of over $100bn in Jafurah.

In late 2021, the company awarded subsurface and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts worth $10bn pertaining to the project.

Under one of those contracts, Hyundai Engineering & Construction and Hyundai Engineering have been working on the first phase of the gas project.

Production from the Jafurah field is scheduled to begin in early 2024, with a projected output of roughly 2.2 billion standard cubic feet per day of sales gas by 2036.

Additionally, it is expected to yield around 425 million standard cubic feet per day of ethane, equivalent to approximately 40% of the current production. Aramco also anticipates that the field will generate around 550 thousand barrels per day of gas liquids and condensates.