Skill and Serendipity: Exploring for Gas-Condensate in the South Rub’ Al-Khali Basin, Saudi Arabia
Walter Rainer Voggenreiter* and Patrick Allman-Ward
SRAK, Saudi Arabia
The South Rub Al-Khali Company Limited (SRAK) is an incorporated Joint Venture formed on 17th December 2003 by Shell Saudi Ventures Limited (40% share), Saudi Arabian Oil Company (30% share) and Total Ventures Saudi Arabia (30% share) in order to explore for non-associated gas in the South Rub’ Al-Khali Basin in Saudi Arabia. The realities of the business environment and conditions of operations in Saudi Arabia, the size, remoteness and challenging terrain of the Contract Areas, and the limited availability of pre-existing data, represented a particularly tough set of challenges unique to the SRAK Joint Venture. In order to maximise the chances of achieving its commitments within the timeframe of the First Exploration Period, a play-based rather than prospect-based exploration strategy has been devised during the start-up of the Venture to maximise the chances of identifying working hydrocarbon systems and to optimally position the Company for a Second Exploration Period. Within its overall exploration strategy and methodology, SRAK has followed a three-pronged approach of Sweetspot Identification (Regional Framework Studies), Portfolio Build (Potential Field and Seismic Data Acquisition and Processing) and Probability of Success Polarisation (Technology Applications) in an attempt to define a Portfolio of Choice for the Venture to select from during the drilling execution phase. In 2006, SRAK entered a new exploration phase with the spudding of the first of up-to-seven exploration wells. The Isharat-1 well proved the presence of critical play elements and the viability of the Paleozoic hydrocarbon plays in the South Rub’ Al- Khali Basin. This presentation will discuss the strategies, methodologies and results of SRAK’s initial exploration program.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90077©2008 GEO 2008 Middle East Conference and Exhibition, Manama, Bahrain