Saudi Aramco Awards Contracts for Red Sea Oil and Gas

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest state-run oil company, awarded two contracts to Saudi Arabia’s Shoaibi Group to search for oil and gas in the Red Sea.

Shoaibi Group and its international partners started in February to survey parts of the Red Sea, the Khobar, Saudi Arabia-based firm said today in an e-mailed reply to Bloomberg.

The contracts are with U.K.’s ARKeX and Norway’s Electromagnetic GeoServices AS. (EMGS) Shoaibi and its partners will need until the end of the second quarter to complete the exploration and data-compilation work. The company didn’t disclose the value of the contracts.

“We are excited that these technologies have been selected by Saudi Aramco to enhance their understanding of the potential reservoirs in their Red Sea exploration program,” Shaoibi said.

Saudi Aramco plans to produce natural gas this decade off the Red Sea coast to increase domestic supplies to power- generation and water-desalination plants. “We’re exploring very aggressively in the Red Sea,” Aramco Chief Executive Officer Khalid Al-Falih said last December.

Shoaibi Group has formed other joint ventures to be based in Khobar with international geophysical and seismic surveying services companies. It formed two joint ventures last year, one with Global Geophysical Services, the other with Norway’s Petroleum Geo-Services Co., known as PGS, to provide seismic services in Saudi Arabia.

The group is also forming ventures with international gas services companies as Saudi Aramco expands its gas-supply networks.

Shoaibi Group joined with France’s Prosernat on March 21 to form Prosernat Saudi Arabia Ltd. The new company, called PNSA, will offer services for natural gas treatment and carbon capture and storage.

Saudi Arabia is forecast to increase natural-gas production by 40 percent in the next four years to 4.5 billion cubic feet per day in 2014, Shoaibi said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Wael Mahdi in Khobar at wmahdi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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