Onshore, the project will entail the construction of a 170 million-cubic-feet-a day (cf/d) gas processing unit and gas-oil separation plants (GOSPs), crude stabilisation units and separators to handle 900,000 barrels a day (b/d) of Arabian Heavy crude, 120 million cf/d of sour gas, 50,000 b/d of condensate and 950,000 b/d of produced water. The project will also include the construction of facilities for the reinjection of 1.75 million b/d of water.

In addition, four main pipelines are to be installed. They are: a 48-inch-diameter, 165-kilometre crude oil pipeline from Manifa to Juaymah; a 12-inch-diameter, 70-kilometre condensate line from Manifa to the Khursaniyah gas plant (KGP); a 24-inch-diameter, 70-kilometre gas line from Manifa to KGP; and a 20-inch-diameter, 30-kilometre gas pipeline from Ras al-Zour to Manifa. Aramco plans to issue invitations to bid (ITB) documents on 24 July, to be followed by a three-week bidding period. A contract award is targeted for early October. The successful bidder will prepare the FEED package outside of the kingdom; PMC services will be provided in-kingdom.

Contractors are due to submit prequalifications on 18 June for the first offshore engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. It calls for the construction of a 41-kilometre causeway, a main bridge and several access facilities. The causeway will accommodate and provide access to drilling rigs to be installed in water depths of 30-40 metres.

The estimated $9,000 million Manifa programme – the largest offshore oil field development ever undertaken by Aramco – is planned to be completed by 2011. Located southeast of Safaniya, the Manifa field was first brought into production in 1964 through the drilling of eight wells. However, the facilities were mothballed in the 1980s. The field is estimated to hold reserves of about 10,000 million barrels.