Saudi Aramco aims to produce 450 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas from the Karan field by mid-2011 as part of the first phase development of its offshore programme.

Aramco expects to produce 1.8 billion cf/d in total but has not set a deadline for bringing the full capacity online.

The state-run firm says international contractors have started “major construction activity” and fabrication on the four main Karan packages.

Aramco says the UAE-based J Ray McDermott began fabrication in September for 30,000 metric tonnes of steel for 38 offshore structures.

McDermott’s contract covers the manufacturing and installation of four platforms, and the construction of a 110-kilometre subsea pipeline to carry offshore sour gas from the Karan field for treatment and processing at the onshore Khursaniyah gas plant (MEED 9:3:09).

South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction has started construction work on the sulphur recovery unit while South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction is building three gas processing trains with capacity of 600 million cf/d each (MEED 2:3:09). The UK’s Petrofac is working on the utilities and cogeneration facilities package.

Karan is the kingdom’s first nonassociated offshore gas field to be developed by Aramco. The field contains reserves of more than 9 trillion cubic feet of gas.