Nature reserve to be built in the Rub al Khali

Saudi Aramco’s Environmental Protection Department (EPD) announced the first nature reserve in the Empty Quarter Desert.

Hisham Mesaieed, director of EPD and head of The Progressive Petroleum Environmental Forum 2014,  said Aramco would work on restoring the vegetation and re-hosting the wildlife species that previously inhabited the area.

“Trees that used to grow here will be re-planted so the area’s wildlife will be revived again,” he explained.

He indicated that Aramco had conducted extensive studies on the flora and fauna in the area and confirmed that trees that used to grow here will be re-planted so the area’s wildlife will be revived again. The reserve will be named the Bio-Diversity Area and covers around 600 square kilometers.

Forum participating commented that the Empty Quarter is almost devoid of human life due to high temperatures, rare rainfalls, and lack of arable land.

Taking up a fifth of the Arabian Peninsula, the Rub al Khali (literally, “quarter of emptiness”), or the Sands for short, is the world’s largest sand sea. At more than 225,000 square miles (583,000 square kilometers), it takes in substantial portions of Saudi Arabia, as well as parts of Oman, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates to create an arid wilderness larger than France.


Saudi Aramco, a fully integrated, global petroleum and chemicals enterprise, is the state-owned oil company of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Through our 80-year history it became a world leading player in hydrocarbons exploration, production, refining, distribution, shipping and marketing, and the world’s top exporter of crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs).

Total oil production for the year was 3.5 billion barrels, about one in every eight barrels of the world’s crude oil production and the most we have produced in a single year in our history.

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