Saudi Aramco forms gas joint venture with Shell and Total
Saudi Aramco has initialed an agreement with major oil companies Shell International and Total, forming a venture to explore, develop and produce non-associated gas in the south Rub' al-Khali, said Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources Ali I. Al-Naimi.
The South Rub' al-Khali Non-Associated Gas Upstream Project measures 209,160 square kilometers. Government procedures for ratification of the agreement are being finalized, which will result in a new company owned by the three signatories. Shell will hold 40 percent ownership, with 30 percent each for Saudi Aramco and Total.
Al-Naimi also said the non-associated upstream gas competitive offering announced during a July meeting in London is progressing as per schedule. The competitive upstream gas offering to international oil companies covers three areas, measuring 29,900, 38,800 and 51,400 square kilometers.
Since September, the companies have been reviewing the technical data on these areas. Bid documents were issued September 15, clarifying bidding procedures, obligations and timetables. They also contain copies of the model agreements and the regulations that will govern the projects. Bids will be opened early next year.
All four offerings - the agreed Saudi Aramco, Shell, Total project and the three future projects announced in July - cover seismic surveys, well drilling and prospecting for non-associated gas. They also entail programs for employing Saudi nationals and encouraging participation by local manufacturers, contractors and service providers. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)