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Shell raises Saudi gas project stake to 50 pct


Shell raises Saudi gas project stake to 50 pct

Tue May 27, 2008 12:19pm EDT

RIYADH, May 27 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: QuoteProfileResearch) has raised to 50 from 40 percent its stake in a project to explore for gas in Saudi Arabia’s vast Empty Quarter after French Total (TOTF.PA: QuoteProfileResearch) pulled out of the joint-venture.


Saudi state-oil company Aramco’s stake in the South Rub al-Khali Co (SRAK) joint-venture will rise to 50 percent from 30 percent, SRAK said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Total ventures Saudi Arabia has transferred its share in … (SRAK) to both Shell Saudi Ventures Limited and Aramco,” SRAK said in a statement, without giving financial or other details of the transfer.

“Based on this transfer of Total’s share, the South Rub Al-Khali Company Limited is now equally owned by Shell and Saudi Aramco,” it said.

Aramco and Total each held 30 percent before SRAK announced in February that Total had opted out of the plan.

The venture began exploring in 2004 for gas, condensate and natural gas liquids in nine blocks in two separate parts of the vast desert area of southeast Saudi Arabia, known in Arabic as the Rub al-Khali (Empty Quarter).

SRAK said it was drilling its fourth exploration well and plans to drill three more before end-July 2010. (Reporting by Souhail Karam)



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