Shell-Total consortium strikes landmark Saudi gas exploration deal
The Saudi government signed an landmark agreement with Royal Dutch/Shell group of companies and Total to form a joint venture with the Kingdom’s own Aramco company for the exploration of gas in an area of 200,000 square kilometers in the southern part of the Rub Al-Khali (the Empty Quarter).
The consortium is the first ever estern oil company to win rights to the vast energy reserves in Saudi Arabia, which were nationalized three decades ago. Consortium leader Shell will retain a participation of 40 percent of the new joint venture, with Saudi Aramco and Total each holding 30 percent participation.
Jeroen van der Veer, president of Royal Dutch and vice chairman of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies, and Alain Lechevalier, vice president Middle East, Exploration & Production of Total finalized the agreement with Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi.
“This agreement is an important breakthrough as it heralds the first time after the creation of Saudi Aramco that foreign International Oil Companies have gained access to gas acreage in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, holder of the world’s largest reserves of oil and gas. Shell, on behalf of the consortium, is naturally proud to be part of this historic moment,” van der Veer commented.
"Total is pleased to have signed this new agreement to enter Saudi Arabia and to be associated for the first time with Saudi Aramco, the largest producer and exporter of oil in the world. This agreement constitutes an important step in Total's strategy in the Middle-East", says Christophe de Margerie, Total executive vice president, President of Exploration and Production. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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