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Saudi Aramco CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih. Image courtesy of Offshore Northern Seas/Youtube.

Saudi Aramco has reportedly shelved its deepwater exploration plans in the Red Sea amid high operating costs and weak oil prices.

Exploring deepwater plays in the Red Sea could cost the Saudi Arabia-based company as much as $1 million per day, two unnamed sources told Reuters.

Environmental issues and the need for further studies to curb risk also reportedly factored into the decision.

“They did discover a lot of oil and gas but they need to do lots of tests. Now with the current prices, they have put it on hold until further notice to collect more data,” an unnamed source said.

Saudi Aramco has not commented on the reports.

A timeline for restarting operations in the Red Sea has not been disclosed.

Last month, Saudi Aramco chief Khalid al-Falih said the company will renegotiate some contracts and postpone projects, including a $2 billion clean fuels plant, to better accommodate low oil prices.

The state owned company has not made a significant Red Sea find since its Midyan and Um Luj discoveries in the early 1990s.