Discoveries were also made in 2005 at three new oil fields Duayban, Halfa and Muraiqib. No details were given of the OOIP in the three fields, which had initial flows of 3,260 barrels a day (b/d) of Arabian Super Light, 6,000 b/d of Arabian Extra Light and 1,079 b/d of Arabian Light crude respectively. Aramco’s proven reserves are estimated to be 260,000 million barrels.

Petroleum & Mineral Resources Minister Ali Naimi announced last September that the kingdom will soon almost double its proven reserves of crude oil. ‘We will soon be able to boost our reserves by 200,000 million barrels using the latest technology,’ he said at the 18th World Petroleum Congress in Johannesburg (MEED 7:10:05).

Aramco also revealed in its annual report plans for a further development of the Shaybah field, proposing a 250,000-b/d increase in production capacity to just above 1 million b/d. In April, Canada’s SNC Lavalin was awarded an estimated $700 million contract to increase capacity at Shaybah to 800,000 b/d of Arabian Extra Light crude. Work is due to be completed in late 2008. The Shaybah field, located in the Empty Quarter, is estimated to have reserves of 14,300 million barrels of crude oil and 25 trillion cubic feet of associated gas.