Saudi Aramco planning to increase Manifa capacity

16 September 2014

Scheme to potentially ramp up offshore field in very early stages

Saudi Aramco is already mulling over plans to increase production from the Manifa oil field, located off the coast of the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia.

Manifa started production in April 2013 and is currently ramping up to its 900,000 barrels a day (b/d) capacity. It will also produce 120 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of natural gas.

Now Aramco is looking at upping that to an as yet undisclosed figure, but sources in the kingdom expect anything up to 1.5 million b/d.

“Talks are at a very early stage, but this is likely to go ahead within the next two years,” says an oil and gas source based in the kingdom. “The scope is there to increase [capacity] and the extra gas would be welcomed.”

Manifa’s offtake will not increase the kingdom’s 12.5 million b/d crude oil capacity, but will instead alleviate production pressure on existing onshore fields that are maturing. Any incremental rise would also add to this.

The $9.28bn project has included the construction of 27 man-made islands in shallow waters, which will serve as platforms for wells at the field. A causeway and onshore facilities have also been constructed that will process the sulphur-rich crude oil from Manifa. Full production is expected in 2015.

The crude from Manifa is also expected to feed Aramco’s new oil refineries at Jubail and Yanbu. Both refineries have been built with the capability of handling heavier and more sulphur-rich crude types. Aramco is already upping production at two onshore fields located at Khurais and Shaybah.

Aramco plans to add 300,000 b/d to Khurais’ current capacity of 1.2 million b/d. The Shaybah field is increasing its capacity by 250,000 b/d in a move that will take its capacity up to 1 million b/d.

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