Saudi Aramco Commits to More Gas Exploration

JEDDAH (Dow Jones Newswires), Sept. 22, 2009

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world's biggest oil company, will continue exploring for natural gas resources in the country as it seeks to meet rapidly rising demand in the Middle East's largest economy, its top executive said Tuesday.

"The kingdom is committed to further natural gas exploration because the kingdom needs more gas" for its own internal consumption and demand, Saudi Aramco's chief executive Khalid Al Falih said, speaking at the new King Abdullah University for Science and Technology campus, located north of Jeddah on the Red Sea coast.

Aramco has had its "own successes in exploration and recovery," and plans to increase natural gas supplies by 25% from projects such as the Karan gas field development, Al Falih said.

He added that there were also positive signs from Aramco's joint venture with Russia's Lukoil, better known as Luksar, which is exploring parts of the kingdom's giant Empty Quarter desert for gas.

"The question still remains whether they are commercial finds or not. But the signs are encouraging," Al Falih said, adding that Luksar's willingness to spend more money on appraisal indicated the company's optimism.

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