Lukoil Saudi Arabia Energy (Luksar), the 80:20 joint venture between Russia's LukoilOverseasand Saudi Aramcoformed to explore, develop and produce non-associated gas reserves in the Rub al-Khali (Empty Quarter), is planning to award the first contracts to carry out seismic works in its concession area A by year-end. Luksar's work programme calls for seismic work in area A, which covers 29,900 square kilometres, to kick off in early 2005 and will be followed by exploration drilling in early 2006 (MEED 30:4:04).
Under its winning proposal for concession area A, Lukoil is committed to drill nine exploration wells and shoot 8,750 kilometres of 2D as well as 3D seismic surveys. International companies will be invited to bid for the seismic jobs within weeks. Luksar's team in Saudi Arabia is already fully mobilised. The total exploration period is five years and will see an investment of $215 million provided through a credit line extended by Saudi Hollandi Bank(MEED 12:3:04). Luksar's board at its second meeting in late August in Moscow approved the company's operating budget and works programme for 2005, both of which will require final approval from the Petroleum & Mineral Resources Ministry in Riyadh. Luksar is one of four ventures exploring the Empty Quarter for non-associated gas reserves.
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