Saudi Arabia’s 900,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Manifa oil field will reach full capacity by 2014, earlier than expected, state oil giant Aramco’s 2010 annual review, published on Monday, showed. The company is also planning to upgrade Safaniya, the world’s largest offshore oil field, to maintain the maximum capacity of the Arabian heavy crude at the field, it said.
Aramco is speeding up the development of the Manifa oil field after it said in its 2009 review that the project would not pump at full capacity until January 2024, as the company looked to cut costs following the oil price slump in 2008 associated with the global economic slowdown. ‘Significant progress was achieved in 2010 on Manifa, the giant Arabian Gulf offshore field under development,’ Aramco said in its 2010 report.
Manifa, which would be brought online in phases, would pump ‘500,000 bpd of the Arabian heavy crude oil by 2013 and 900,000 bpd by 2014,’ it added. A company executive had previously said, in May, that Aramco would reach full production at Manifa by early 2015. Heavy, sour Manifa crude would be processed at two new refineries due to come online from 2013 onwards. One is in Jubail, on the Gulf coast, in a joint-venture with France’s Total. The other is in Yanbu, on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter.
In Safaniya oil field, work to maintain maximum production capacity is split in two phases. It includes installing electrical submersible pumps (ESPs), the upgrade of crude-gathering facilities and power supply. The project — Safaniya Phase 1 Upgrade — now in the detailed design phase is expected to be completed in late 2013, Aramco said. It did not provide capacity figures for Safaniya, but capacity of the field is around 1.3 million bpd.