Saudi Aramco has awarded contracts to the local Shoaibi Group and its international partners to start collecting geological data and carry out gravimetric surveys in the Red Sea.

The UK’s Arkex and Norway’s Electromagnetic GeoServices (EMGS) have already started work on the project and it is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2011.

Arkex is carrying out a gravimetric survey over three oil blocks on the west coast of Saudi Arabia.  

The aim of the survey is to better understand the crest and flanks of the saline bodies in the exploration area. Once collected the data will then be collated and transformed into three dimensional seismic images.

Alongside Arkex, EMGS will carry out electromagnetic and 3-D seismic surveys of the seabed over a three-month period starting in May. 

The Shoaibi Group has also formed two joint ventures with Norway’s Global Geophysical Services and Petroleum GeoServices, which will see the companies supply exploration-related services.

Aramco hopes to find non-associated gas in the Red Sea rather than crude oil.