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Image courtesy of Saudi Aramco

Russian oil giant Lukoil is reportedly negotiating with Saudi Arabia to tap unconventional gas deposits located in the Empty Quarter.

Saudi Arabia is looking to natural gas as a domestic fuel source and to conserve oil for export.

The Empty Quarter — or Rub Al Khali — is in southeast Saudi Arabia.

The search for conventional gas in the Empty Quarter didn’t reveal commercial quantities.

The Saudis are now focusing the search on unconventional deposits.

Lukoil is said to be evaluating possible production in the Rub Al Khali from unconventional deposits.

“This is tight gas. The negotiations are under way. No details on deal and future production plans yet,” a spokesperson for Lukoil Overseas was quoted as saying by  Arabian Oil and Gas.

“Yes, we are hopeful and will continue evaluating drilling after signing a deal,” the Lukoil spokesperson said.