Saudi Aramco is close to adding 250,000 barrels a day (b/d) of new crude capacity with the completion of the Shaybah field expansion, according to media reports.

The state-owned oil company awarded a $410m engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract South Korea’s Samsung Engineering in early 2011 to carry out the Shaybah Arabian Light crude increment project.

News agency Bloomberg, citing industry sources, said that the expansion will be completed by the end of May.

The project scope sees Samsung expand the handling facilities to increase the field’s by 250,000 barrels a day b/d to a total of 1 million b/d. This includes adding additional gas oil separators, a wet crude handling train and a booster gas compressor.

The field is located in Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter close to the border with the UAE.

At the same time as the contract to increase crude capacity at Shaybah, Samsung Engineering was also awarded four packages worth an estimated $3bn to build a natural gas liquids (NGLs) project at the site. The Shaybah NGL project allows Aramco separate about 228,000 b/d of NGLs from crude oil produced at the oil field.

According to MEED Projects, all packages of the Shaybah NGLs project have been completed with the 633-kilometre Shaybah to Abqaiq pipeline, which is being installed by the local Rajeh H. Al-Marri & Sons. It is expected to be completed in June.

The completion of the Shaybah Arabian Light crude increment project will expand Aramco’s crude production capacity, which is currently at about 12 million b/d, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said in March.

Nasser also said recently that Aramco is pushing ahead with the expansion of the Khurais oil field. Aramco is carrying out the project to add 300,000 b/d of oil to the field’s current capacity of 1.2 million b/d, expecting to complete the work by 2018.

Saudi Arabia set a record production of 10.56 million b/d in June last year. In March, Opec estimated the kingdom produced an average of 10.12 million b/d.

Riyadh could increase oil production following the breakdown of talks between oil exporters in Doha on 17 April, where oil ministers failed to agree on freezing oil production levels to curb global oversupply.

Ahead of the meeting Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud said the kingdom could raise crude output by more than a million b/d straight away if there is demand for it.