The Ghawar oil field is one of the most established, largest and well known oil fields in the world. Located in the Easter Province of Saudi Arabia, around 200km east of Riyadh, it accounts for more than half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production and in 2009 it was estimated to account for 6.25% of the world’s total oil production. According to the Energy Information Administration, the single field has more reserves than all but 7 countries.

Named Ghawar from the name that the Bedouin tribes used for the area, the 5,300km2 field is divided into six areas: Fazran, Ain Dar, Shedgum, Uthmaniyah, Haradh and Hawiyah with the main reservoir of the field comprises of Arab-D Jurassic organic rich mudstones, lying 2,100m beneath the surface.

The state-run Saudi Aramco own and operate the oil field, which was first discovered in 1948 by the Standard Oil of California (which later became Arabian American Oil Company and then Saudi Aramco). Production began in 1951 and it is said that the peak production from the field was in 1981 when it was consistently producing 5.7m barrels per day – the highest oil production rate from a single field in history.

Although estimates vary from source to source, in 2008 the International Energy Agency stated that the total oil production from Ghawar had reached 66bn barrels of oil in 2007, and that the remaining reserves were 74bn. In 2013 it was estimated to have 70bn barrels remaining.

The field continues to undergo development for productivity increases and extended life, including Maximum Reservoir Contact (MRC) wells with down-hole Interval Control Valves (ICVs). By the end of 2012, the field had more than 3,000 injector and oil producer wells, and in 2015 it was reported that Saudi Aramco started injecting carbon dioxide to boost extraction rates and do its part in reducing carbon emissions.

In January 2017 it was announced that Saudi Aramco was hiring auditors to look into their oil reserves as part of the IPO expected in 2018 which looks to sell less that 5% of the company.

The field also contains 90 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves at the beginning of 2013. In January 2017 it was announced that the Haradh and Hawiyah plants were stepping up their gas production to meet growing energy needs in a project expected to cost around $4 billion. Saudi Aramco has plans to nearly double their current gas production to 23 billion standard cubic feet a day in the next decade.

Ghawar Jobs with NES Global Talent

We have over six years' experience recruiting for oil and gas jobs in Saudi Arabia and have a fully established office within the country. Unlike other providers, we are able to provide sponsorship and employment opportunities directly, due to NES being a fully registered Saudi Arabian business entity – meaning no third parties. Once more, our in-country assignment support provides 24/7 support for contractors and our award winning payroll team ensures our contractors are paid on time, every time.

We have provided staffing for the Ghawar oil field for a number of years, and can offer a wide range of positions in areas such as:

  • Frac
  • Coiled Tubing
  • Drilling
  • HSE

See our visit our oil and gas jobs page for the latest jobs or register with us to be considered for future roles. Alternatively, you can email our Saudi Arabia office directly on



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