Aramco plans to carry out similar programmes in other parts of the kingdom in an attempt to boost its reserve/production ratio. An award is imminent for the contract to carry out a three-year 3D transition zone seismic survey covering the offshore Berri field in the Hanifa reservoir in the Eastern Province. The bidders are: the local Arabian Geophysical & Surveying Company (Argas); BGP Arabia, a subsidiary of China’s BGP International; and Western Geco GSI, part of the US’ Schlumberger. Along with carrying out seismic surveys, Aramco also plans a 60 per cent increase in the number of development wells to be drilled in 2006, compared with last year (MEED 6:1:06). The number of drilling rigs is expected to rise from about 80 to a fleet size of 120 in the third quarter, most of which will be dedicated to exploration.