The expansion, to take place in the block 5 extension, aims to increase production capacity to 525,000 b/d by the end of 2009 from 240,000 b/d. The FDP will comprise drilling more than 160 production and water injection wells over the next six years and the installation of three additional production and accommodation platforms.

MOQ is the field operator under an exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) signed with QP in 1992. In 2004, Maersk and QP signed a modification to the original EPSA to include the northern area of block 5, some 70 kilometres offshore. The extension covers an area of 139 square kilometres. Production of heavy oil at Al-Shaheen started in 1994. Since then, the field has become one of Qatar’s most productive oil fields.

As part of its early works programme, Maersk in May invited fabricators to respond to an initial inquiry for the platforms package. The contract will involve the supply and installation of 10 new process, wellhead and flare platforms and six accommodation platforms with inter-connecting bridges. It also includes the installation of 200-250 kilometres of in-field subsea pipelines and about 40 kilometres of power cables. The platforms will have facilities for oil/water separation, treatment of produced water and oil exports and have water injection pumps, gas gathering and compression units and utilities (MEED 27:5:05).