(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Aramco is moving ahead with plans to expand the Fadhili gas processing facility in the kingdom’s Eastern Province as part of its strategy to tap vast and under-developed gas resources.

The state-run company has awarded contracts worth $7.7 billion to expand the Fadhili plant to 4 billion cubic feet per day from 2.5 billion. Korea’s Samsung Engineering Co. and GS Engineering & Construction Corp. were selected for engineering contracts alongside local firm Nesma & Partners Contracting Co. Ltd.

Global demand for natural gas has surged over the past three years as countries turn toward cleaner-burning fuels and European nations that traditionally sourced most of their gas from Russia look for alternative suppliers.

Saudi Arabia has some of the biggest gas reserves in the world. Aramco is developing the Jafurah field, which is estimated to hold 200 trillion cubic feet of gas, and other fields which will supply the domestic market and be used to make blue hydrogen, it has said.

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