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Friday, April 9, 2010    

State-owned China firm competes with U.S. firm for Red Sea energy project

ABU DHABI — Saudi Arabia is preparing to launch an energy exploration project in the Red Sea.   

Industry sources said the state-owned Saudi Aramco would issue an award for exploration of the Red Sea by mid-2010.

They said Saudi-owned companies would be included in the project and work with Western energy majors.

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Aramco plans to drill the first well in the Red Sea in 2012.

"There should be an announcement soon," an industry source said.

The bidders for the energy exploration project by Aramco have included the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp., the U.S. firm Schlumberger and the Saudi-owned Arabian Geophysical and Surveying Co.

Aramco has already awarded contracts for seismic tests in the Red Sea in what was expected to take at least two years.

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