Luksar Energy, an 80:20 joint venture of Russia’s Lukoil and Saudi Aramco, has abandoned 90 per cent of its gas exploration block in Saudi Arabia’s empty quarter.

The company relinquished the majority of the 30,000 square kilometre block in October 2009, Aramco said in its annual review which was released on 15 June.

The company is currently drilling a well at the Tukhnam field and will continue with a drilling programme of four more wells to assess the potential of this and the nearby Mushayib fields, Aramco said. However, it has decided not to pursue any new exploration activities at the concession, Block A, which is one of four being developed by international oil companies working in joint venture with Aramco.

Aramco and Lukoil were not available for comment on the reasons behind the decision to abandon most of their concession. The firms signed up to develop the concession in 2004, and announced a gas discovery in 2007.