First seismic exploration work is due to kick off on 25 November in concession area A in the Rub al-Khali (Empty Quarter), which was awarded to Lukoil Saudi Arabia Energy (Luksar), the 80:20 joint venture between Russia's Lukoil Overseasand Saudi Aramco, earlier this year (MEED 3:9:04).
Luksar on 13 October signed a contract with the US' Western- Gecoto carry out 8,750 kilometres of 2D and 3D seismic surveys in the area, which covers about 29,900 square kilometres. Seismic shootings will be conducted throughout 2005 and will be followed by exploration drilling in early 2006. Under its winning proposal for concession area A, Lukoil is committed to drill at least nine exploration wells. Luksar says seismic crews are being mobilised while land allotment formalities are in progress. Previous seismic data was provided by Saudi Aramcoand processed by Russia's Bashneftegeofizika. Aramco is also providing topographic maps. The total exploration period is five years and will see an investment of $215 million, supported by a credit line from Saudi Hollandi Bank(MEED 12:3:04). Luksar is one of four ventures awarded concessions to explore, develop and produce non-associated gas reserves (MEED 30:1:04).
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