Khurais wetland

Promoting biodiversity

Situated 160 km southeast of Riyadh, Khurais is home to a 38-km2 area of desert-resilient, biodiverse wetland, established by Aramco alongside our operating facilities in the region. Producing since 2009, Khurais is one of the largest areas of land under our stewardship.

Khurais’ significant biodiversity includes known habitats of at least 22 plants, 42 birds, three reptiles, and seven mammal species. A three -meter high perimeter fence isolates Khurais from grazing by nonnative species, such as camels and sheep.

One of the wetland’s most valuable features is the large number of birds using the site as a resting spot on their migratory journeys. It is estimated that more than 100 bird species visit Khurais each year, with further surveys likely to find an even wider range of feathered visitors.

Following the success of the first stage of the project, we have since expanded the wetland to cover an additional 30 km2, resulting in gradual biological regeneration of the area following construction at the site. With its dry location and limited water resources, Aramco will continue to pursue water conservation initiatives in Khurais and elsewhere as part of our commitment to conserve the Kingdom’s groundwater for future generations.

At Khurais, we plan to end the use of non-drinkable groundwater for plant processing through the construction of a 60,000-barrel seawater reverse osmosis facility. This facility started operation in 2020.

We have also hosted plantation trials to support water conservation in the region, using technologies such as Super Absorbent Polymers, Hydrophobic Sand and DriWater Gel to save up to 65% of the water needed for wetland irrigation.