Saudi Aramco has started testing the first of three trains at an expanded gas processing facility for its offshore Karan field that are set to deliver an output boost for the project later this year, according to a report.

Karan, which came online last summer, is Saudi Arabia’s first non-associated gas field and will enable the country to reduce its dependence on oil consumption.

Output will be processed at the Khursaniyah plant through three new trains – or production lines – each with a capacity of 600 million cubic feet per day.

“They introduced gas to train one, it is already under commissioning,” an industry source told Reuters.

Aramco is expected to gradually increase production in the next two to three months once the two other trains are completed and commissioned, sources said.

The state-owned company aims to raise production to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day by June and expects to reach full capacity of 1.8 Bcfd in April 2013, up from initial targeted output of 400 to 450 MMcfd after start-up last year.

Construction work for the four components of the project is almost complete, according to sources. Work includes offshore platforms, a 47-kilometre pipeline and power plant, together with facilities for gas drying and sulfur removal.

The ramp-up of Karan should help Saudi Arabia burn less crude in its power plants this summer.

Source: Upstream Online