Russia's Lukoil To Drill For Tight Gas In Saudi Desert
KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, May 15 (Reuters) - Russia's Lukoil is set to drill deep for unconventional gas in Saudi Arabia's challenging "Empty Quarter" desert region early next year after a decade-long hunt for conventional deposits that has proved futile.
The world's top oil exporting nation invited international oil companies (IOCs) - such as Lukoil, Royal Dutch Shell and Sinopec - to find and pump gas in its southeast Empty Quarter, known as Rub al Khali, more than 10 years ago.
Saudi wants natural gas to help it cover subsidised domestic power demand so it can save oil for more lucrative exports.
The IOCs, which formed joint ventures with state oil firm Saudi Aramco, failed to find commercially viable deposits and while the others have abandoned the search, Lukoil has not.
It plans, with Saudi Aramco, to drill two, very deep evaluation wells at depths of up to 19,000 feet in the Mushaib tight gas field in the Empty Quarter, two industry sources said.
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