This reference is for an abstract only. A full paper was not submitted for this conference.
Under the terms of the Upstream Project Agreement ratified in November 2003,the South Rub Al-Khali Company Limited (SRAK) has entered into an agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the exploration, appraisal, development and production of non-associated gas, condensate and natural gas liquids in Contract Areas 1 (Blocks 82–85) and 2 (Blocks 5–9) in the South Rub; al KhaliBasin of Saudi Arabia. SRAK is an Incorporated Joint Venture between Shell(40%), Saudi Aramco (30%) and Total (30%), with Shell providing the technical lead.
Exploration activities under the terms of the Upstream Project Agreement are governed by a first five year exploration term and two subsequent five year exploration periods undertaken at the option of SRAK. Work commitments for the first exploration term encompasses a major seismic acquisition programme of16,000 km of 2D data and the drilling of seven exploration wells. The exploration acreage covers an area of approximately 210,000 km2, equivalent to10% of Saudi Arabia's land area. SRAK's exploration efforts will be focused on the Palaeozoic reservoirs. In contrast to the hydrocarbon-rich tracts within the Saudi Aramco Reserved Area some distance to the north, the remote SouthRub, al Khali Basin is only lightly explored, and the presence of a working(Palaeozoic) hydrocarbon system has yet to be demonstrated.
Eighteen months into the first exploration term, this paper focuses on the venture related as well as technical challenges that are being faced and how they are being addressed.