KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, (Reuters) – Saudi Aramco has awarded $400 million worth of seismic contracts as it steps up oil and gas exploration in the kingdom, industry sources said on Monday.
The data-gathering contracts will cover the Red Sea and the 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) Moneefa oilfield, said the sources from BGB Arabia, a joint venture between BGB International,
The local firm, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and the Saudi Rafid Group are expected to sign the contracts with Aramco this month, the sources said.
The first one, a 3D programme on Moneefa will last for two years while a 2D transition offshore/ onshore zone on the Red Sea will be over a period of 14 months and another onshore 4 year programme to study possible gas or oil finds in some parts of the vast Empty Quarter, the sources said.
“There is no confirmation from Aramco that the Rub al Khali (Empty Quarter) is going to be included in this programme but maybe some terrains,” the first source said.
Last month Aramco said it was working with Royal Duch Shell on studying the development of the Kidan gas field in the kingdom’s southeast region.
Kidan is near the 750,000 bpd Shaybah oilfield.