Oct 10 - Saudi Aramco, Shell Extend Natural Gas Drilling to 2015

Source Company Web Site
Company Saudi Aramco 
Tags Upstream Activities
Date October 26, 2010

A joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Shell to drill for natural gas in the kingdom's empty quarter has extended its exploration license by five years to 2015.

The South Rub al-Khali Co., or SRAK, was one of three ventures launched in 2003-04 that gave international oil companies upstream access to Saudi Arabian energy reserves for the first time since 1980.

"We...requested for a second exploration period, which means a new commitment from the company including drilling wells and collecting seismic data," a spokesman for SRAK told Dow Jones Newswires Tuesday. "The government officially approved our request of entering a second exploration period for five years."

Saudi Arabia plans to greatly increase gas production in order to meet domestic energy demand and free up crude oil for export. However, the country hasn't yet discovered non-associated natural gas in sufficient quantities to replace oil as the fuel for its planned electricity plants and guarantee cheap feed stock for new petrochemical factories.'

Shells decision to continue its drilling program will allay some fears about the commercial viability of the exploration areas after the withdrawal of France's Total from the venture in 2008. SRAK is now a 50-50 venture between Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell.

SRAK said its new exploration phase would involve the drilling of three wells and the acquisition of 3,600 square kilometers of 3D seismic data and 3,000 square kilometers of 2D seismic data. It will also submit to the government an appraisal plan for Kidan area, a large sour gas field discovered in the 1960s.

Related Companies
 Company: Shell more info  
Operates 40 Offshore Rigs

 -  Saudi Aramco, Shell Extend Natural Gas Drilling to 2015 (Oct 26)
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 Company:  Saudi Aramco more info  
Operates 20 Offshore Rigs
Manages 2 Offshore Rigs

 -  Saudi Aramco, Shell Extend Natural Gas Drilling to 2015 (Oct 26)
 - Aramco CEO: Future Generations to Rely Mainly on Fossil Fuels (Sep 14)
 -  Saudi Aramco Appoints New Members to BOD (Aug 23)

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