Saudi gas project

Saudi Arabia has signed a deal with a consortium led by Royal Dutch/Shell for a USD 2 billion gas project and unveiled plans to issue tenders for another three projects as part of plans to boost gas production. “The agreement is pending the Saudi government’s final seal,” Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi said. The Shell consortium also includes Total (France) and the kingdom’s national oil giant Saudi Aramco. A new company will be set up for the gas exploration and production from an area of 209,000 square km in the Rube al-Khali (Empty Quarter) in the south of the kingdom, Nuaimi added. Shell will control a 40% stake in the new company, with Total and Aramco controlling 30% each, added the minister, who did not specify when actual work on the project would start. Nuaimi also said Saudi Arabia will hold an international tender early next year for three new gas exploration and production projects. The three separate projects cover areas of 29,900, 38,800 and 51,400 square kilometres in various parts of the kingdom, he said.

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