Saudi Aramco to re-explore Empty Quarter with advanced seismic technology

Saudi Aramco is employing advanced seismic technology to re-explore areas of the Arabian desert known as the Empty Quarter, according to Reuters.

Aimed at enhancing the company’s proven reserves of oil and gas, the exploration programme comes ahead of its planned initial public offering (IPO), which is in line with the Saudi Arabia’s plan to privatise multiple sectors of its economy and deregulate markets.

The company employed around 900 people who are engaged in exploring 15,400km² around Turayqa in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Aramco was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Data processing is ongoing. The area partially covers areas relinquished by some of the joint ventures.”

Identified in 2013, the Turayqa gas field does not contain oil reserves.

Previous exploration work undertaken by Aramco in collaboration with foreign firms did not yield recoverable quantities of oil and gas.

"Data processing is ongoing. The area partially covers areas relinquished by some of the joint ventures."

Four consortia were established by Aramco in 2003 and 2004 to carry out exploration activities at the Empty Quarter.

However, search operations were called off after the companies failed to discover commercial volumes of gas.

Aramco intends to leverage the new seismic technology, which uses artificially induced shockwaves in the earth to improve the chances of discovering gas reserves.

The company noted that drilling is needed to confirm the existence of oil and gas reserves in the region.

More than 50,000 frequencies are available to the crew at Turayqa to monitor the results of the programme.

A former executive at Saudi Aramco revealed to the news agency that in addition to providing a three-dimensional view of the structure of rock going down several kilometres, the technology determines physical characteristics of the rock, such as its density and fluid saturation.