Saudi Aramco expects to complete the expansion of its Shaybah oil field “in a couple of weeks”, Amin Nasser, the state-owned oil group’s CEO, said.

The project will add 250,000 barrels a day (b/d) of new crude capacity, taking the field’s capacity to 1 million b/d to compensate for falling output at maturing fields.

Aramco awarded a $410m engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to South Korea’s Samsung Engineering in early 2011 to carry out the Shaybah Arabian Light crude increment project.

In a rare press conference at the company’s headquarters in Dhahran, Nasser told reporters Aramco is also pushing ahead with the expansion of the Khurais field, which it expects to complete in 2018. Aramco is carrying out the scheme to add 300,000 b/d to the field’s current capacity of 1.2 million b/d.

The company has a maximum sustainable capacity of 12 million b/d, with a total capacity of 12.5 million b/d, the CEO said.

On 7 May, Aramco chairman Khalid al-Falih was named as Saudi Arabia’s new energy, industry & mineral resources minister as part of a wide-ranging government shake-up announced by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud.

The government restructure, announced in a royal decree, sees several ministries merged and others abolished, including the Electricity & Water Ministry.

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