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Saudi Aramco Announces Oil and Gas Find, Third Since July

January 7, 1990 GMT

DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia (AP) _ Saudi Arabian Oil Co. announced Sunday the discovery of a gas and oil field, the third find in six months by the world’s largest oil exporter.

The announcement from Saudi Aramco headquarters in Dhahran said the strike, in the Raghib area about 77 miles southeast of the Saudi capital of Riyadh, was commercially viable.

Testing on Jan. 1 showed Raghib-1 well could produce 3,650 barrels per day, while gas could be produced at the rate of 10 million cubic feet per day, it said.

The announcement, distributed by the official Saudi Press Agency, said the oil was of the high-quality, sulphur-free crude found earlier in the year in the Dilam and al-Hawtah discoveries.

Saudi Oil Minister Hisham Nazer said Friday that the new oil discoveries south of Riyadh produced oil of the highest quality that could raise Saudi Arabia’s per-barrel oil income by $1 to $2.

The kingdom already boasts the world’s largest single oil reserves, which it estimates at 252 billion barrels. Saudi Aramco has recently intensified its search for new oil deposits in the center of the kingdom, away from the massive producing fields along the Gulf coast.

Nazer said in a television interview aired late Friday that the kingdom will seek a higher oil production quota this year and the following years from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Nazer said the kingdom was confident that world demand for oil will rise in the 1990′s, resulting in satisfactory prices for both producers and consumers.

″Saudi Arabia has been able, through co-operation with its fellow members of OPEC and through contacts with oil producers, to restore stability to the world oil markets,″ Nazer said. ″We are beginning to feel that the situation is improving for the better.″

Nazer’s comments echoed those of King Fahd, who said Dec. 31 that the kingdom will work to increase its current OPEC quota of 5.38 million barrels per day. No new target figure was disclosed.