Shell Has Not Pulled Out of Empty Quarter Gas Exploration, Saudi Official Says

A Saudi official denied a report that came out yesterday saying Royal Dutch Shell is set to pull out soon from a joint venture searching for gas in the Empty Quarter desert in southeastern Saudi Arabia. The official told financial daily al-Eqtisdaiah there are disagreements over the price of gas but that negotiations are still ongoing.

“Both the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Saudi Aramco has a strong and special relationship with Shell,” the Saudi official said.

According to Reuters, at least three foreign firms have already abandoned their searches for gas beneath the sea of sand dunes that cover south east Saudi Arabia. But the Saudi official said only one company, Spain’s Repsol, has officially notified the government of pulling out of gas exploration in the Empty Quarter.