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Saudi orders 170 rigs in search for Red Sea natural gas

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ABU DHABI — Saudi Arabia has ordered a record number of rigs for energy exploration in 2013.

Industry analysts say increase the kingdom's reserves by another 18 percent.

Industry analysts say Red Sea resources could increase Saudi Arabia’s reserves by another 18 percent.

Industry sources said the state-owned Saudi Aramco would acquire and operate more than 170 rigs for natural gas exploration in the Gulf Cooperation Council kingdom.

The sources said Aramco has ordered additional rigs to
maintain the pace of its gas exploration and development projects.

“The rigs will also be used for additional crude oil development,” a
source said.

The sources said Aramco has been directed to accelerate its gas
production projects in an attempt to reduce dependency on crude oil.

The sources said major exploration was taking place in the Red Sea near the northern Saudi port of Tabouk.

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