Russia's Lukoil eyes natural gas in Saudi Arabia

March 19, 2014

Russia's Lukoil is negotiating a deal with the world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia to tap unconventional gas deposits in the kingdom's "Empty Quarter" desert region, the company's overseas unit said, Reuters reported on March 18.

Saudi Arabia has kept its vast oil reserves off-limits to foreigners, but needs natural gas to help cover domestic power demand and conserve oil for export. It invited investors a decade ago to find and produce gas in the Empty Quarter region in Saudi Arabia's southeast, also known as Rub Al Khali.

Lukoil is still on the hunt for desert gas and is now evaluating the possibility of production from an unconventional deposit.

"This is tight gas. The negotiations are under way. No details on deal and future production plans yet," said a spokesman for Lukoil Overseas, which operates the group's foreign upstream projects. "Yes, we are hopeful and will continue evaluating drilling after signing a deal," he said.

Copyright: Reuters, 2014