The world’s largest oil company Saudi Aramco says it will drill between 45 and 50 oil exploration wells next year.

Saudi Aramco vice president Abdullah al-Naim said that 3D seismic data off the Red Sea coast will be collected by the company in the first quarter of 2010. Drilling of the first well will begin in 2012.

“Our exploration is spread evenly in the Rub al Khali, in north-western Saudi Arabia, in the Gulf area, and in existing operational areas,” al-Naim told Bloomberg.

He added that Aramco wildcat exploration has close to a 50% success rate based on a three-year moving average.