Calgary-based MEG Worleyhas been awarded a contract by Canada’s Nexento carry out engineering work at East al-Hajr block 51. The project aims at bringing production on stream at 20,000-25,000 barrels a day (b/d) by the end of 2005.

Nexen operates the block, which was declared suitable for commercial production in December 2003, in co-operation with The Yemen Company. In late 2003, a 20-year production sharing agreement was signed with the government, with the option to negotiate a five-year extension. Development plans call for 17 development wells, a central processing facility, a gathering system and a 22-kilometre link to Nexen’s Masila export pipeline.

Nexen is the country’s largest oil producer and operates the biggest field, Masila block 14, which produces about 250,000 b/d out of the country’s total output of 454,000 b/d. Sanaa is working hard to increase production levels, which have dwindled from a peak of 471,000 b/d in 2001, and in June awarded four new exploration blocks following an international licensing round (MEED 25:6:04).