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Saudi Aramco said it will reduce the cost of producing natural gas from tight sands to make it equivalent to shale gas production costs in the U.S.

State-owned Saudi Aramco is targeting a cost of $2 to $3 per thousand cubic feet of tight gas.

Adnan Kanaan, manager of the company’s Gas Reservoir Managing department, said in a report published last week by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, “We do have shale, but shale will take a little bit more time because we need to go with the low-risk, high-rewards projects to get our revenue.”

Aramco is drilling in tight sands reservoirs where permeability and porosity is greater than that of shale formations but below that of conventional oil and gas bearing sands, Bloomberg reported.

Saudi Arabia wants to develop its shale and tight gas deposits to reliance on crude and crude-derived products so more can be exported.

“Saudi deserts may hold as much as 645 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas, the world’s fifth-largest deposits, behind China, the U.S., Argentina and Mexico, according to estimates by Baker Hughes Inc., Bloomberg said.

But fracking shale to extract natural gas requires enormous amounts of water, which Saudi Arabia doesn’t have.