State oil firm Saudi Aramco plans to start production at its $11bn Manifa field in 2013, rather than in 2011 as it originally proposed.

An executive close to Aramco and based in Al-Khobar, says the national oil company extended the start of production because there is excess capacity elsewhere in the kingdom.

“There is a first-half 2013 target now,” says the executive. “There is no rush in the current climate.”

Aramco expects to deliver 900,000 barrels a day (b/d) of crude from the Manifa oil field in the Eastern Province.

Saudi Arabia has oil capacity of 12.5 million b/d, but in October it only pumped about 8.2 million b/d of its current capacity.

In July, Italy’s Saipem, parent company of Snamprogetti, cut its projected revenues on a construction deal at Manifa by $140m after fresh negotiations with Aramco (MEED 29:7:09).

Snamprogetti won an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deal to build central processing facilities at Manifa in June 2008, at the height of the contracting boom.

In its results for the six months to 30 June 2009, Saipem says its project pipeline has shrunk by $140m for the second quarter after renegotiating the Manifa contract with Aramco.