Oil giant Saudi Aramco plans to ramp up production with the next phase of its exploration and production plans leading up to 2015.

In its recent annual report, the firm said it wants to increase its production using a variety of different methods including increased exploration, fast-tracking the development of fields, adding capacity to existing fields as well as possibly recommissioning old fields.

One of the major increases will come from the offshore Manifa field. It is now being fast-tracked and the full 900,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) capacity will be ready by 2014. Initially 500,000 b/d was mooted for 2014 with the rest being adding incrementally depending on demand, but Aramco is also considering upping the capacity further to 1.2 million b/d (MEED 12:11:10).

“Aramco needs the oil from Manifa for the Jubail Export Refinery so it is not surprising that it is bringing it to full capacity early,” says an oil industry source based in the Eastern Province. “It also needs the [associated] gas from the field for domestic use, so that will have been a definite factor.”

Manifa will provide the kingdom with 120 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas when it is at full capacity.

Saudi Aramco is also planning to push ahead with the Dammam field upgrade and has increased activity in its Maintain Potential Programme, which looks to increase the productivity if its current fields using enhanced oil recovery techniques.

“A lot more can be done to squeeze additional output out of [Aramco’s] current fields,” says the source. “Even small things like revamping its pipeline network would go a long way to achieving this.”

Aramco’s exploration programme has increased is aimed at frontier areas such as the Red Sea as well as on land. The company is tendering three large onshore seismic contracts (MEED 17:6:11).

The new fields discovered in 2010:

  • Namlan-1 – 166km northwest of Al Jubail
  • AsSayd-1 – 400km north of Riyadh
  • Arsan-1 – 120km southeast of Riyadh
  • Qamran-1 – 180km west of Shaybah field
  • Jalamid-3 (gas field) – 95km southeast of Turayf