State-energy giant Saudi Aramco has completed a $100bn development programme that has boosted the kingdom’s production capacity to 12.5 million barrels a day (b/d) of crude oil and 8.7 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas, it said in its annual review.

Aramco lifted its crude oil production capacity by 2 million b/d in 2009 alone despite cutting production from around 10 million b/d to 7.9 million b/d on the back of Opec quotas, it said in the review, which was released on 15 June.

In January 2009, it completed work at the Abu Hadriya, Fadhili and Khursaniyah fields, boosting oil production capacity by 500,000 b/d. Aramco is currently producing 260,000 b/d of oil from the field, and will push this up to 500,000 b/d in mid-2010 when it commissions a gas processing plant.

In July 2009, Aramco completed its largest ever production increase the Khurais development. Under this scheme, it added 1.2 million b/d of new capacity at the Abu Jifan and Mazalij fields 150 kilometres south of Riyadh.

Also in July, the company commissioned a new gas-oil separation plant at the Shaybah field, which added 250,000 b/d of production capacity, bringing the potential output of the field up to 750,000 b/d.

In May, Aramco commissioned production facilities at the Nuayyim field 250 kilometres south of Riyadh, which have an output capacity of 100,000 b/d.

Aramco says that its Maintain Potential programme, a series of smaller projects being undertaken by engineering contractors on long-term contracts, added a further 500,000 b/d of production capacity in the country.

The commissioning of the new facilities brings Aramco’s current oil development programme to a close, the company said, although it continues to work on the development of the offshore Manifa oilfield, supplies from which will be used to offset falling production levels at some of the kingdom’s older oilfields.

Aramco plans to produce 500,000 b/d of oil from Manifa from June 2013 onwards and to be able to produce upwards of 900,000 b/d of oil by 2024. The company had originally planned to complete the programme by 2011. No reason was given for the delay.

As it slows the addition of new oil production capacity, Aramco is increasingly moving its focus to the development of new gas supplies, the company says. It added 13.2 trillion cubic feet of new gas reserves in 2009, bringing overall production up to 8.7 billion cf/d on average during the year compared to 8.3 billion cf/d in 2008 despite a fall in oil production due to Opec quotas.

Aramco produced a total of 2.9 billion barrels of oil in 2009 compared to 3.3 billion in 2008. Around 50 per cent of the kingdom’s gas is associated, meaning that it is a by-product of oil production. In the past, falls in oil output have meant a similar decline in gas production.

The company is in the process of tendering a series of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the development of the Arabiyah and Hasbah fields under the $3bn-plus Wasit gas development (MEED 16:6:10).