Saudi Arabia, the world's leading oil producer, is estimated to hold 288 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Andrew Brown, director of upstream operations at Shell, told The Sunday Telegraph newspaper in London, a decade-long search has nonetheless been fruitless.
"We haven't had a very successful exploration campaign," he said.
Shell was working on developments in the Rub al-Khali desert through a joint venture with Saudi Aramco. No work has taken place since February and the newspaper report says Shell's efforts have been plagued by the high cost of working in the extreme desert climate.
"We aren't conducting any operations there [at Rub al-Khali desert] at the moment," Brown said.