Saudi Aramcois expected to launch the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract by late 2006 for the redevelopmentof theoffshore Manifa oil field. The estimated $1,000 million development is targeted to produce 300,000-600,000 barrels a day (b/d) of Arabian heavy crude, according to information supplied to OPEC by Aramco. 'The project is in the early stages of development and Aramco is expected to approve by the third quarter [of 2006] the final investment plan,' says a project source.
The project will involve the supply and installation of at least three platforms, subsea pipelines and tie-ins with existing offshore production facilities. Aramco is understood to be looking at drilling at least five new wells, besides the work-over of existing wells. Production is targeted for 2010. Located southeast of Safaniya, the Manifa field was first brought into production in 1964 through the drilling of eight wells. However, the facilities were mothballed soon after. The field is estimated to hold reserves of about 10,000 million barrels. Since 2004, Aramco has embarked on major crude increment programmes - Abu Hadriyah, Fadhili and Khursaniyah (AFK), Khurais, Shaybah and Nuayyim - aimed at raising oil capacity to 12.5 million b/d by 2010. All the schemes are at various stages of implementation (MEED 12:8:05).