Agence France Presse
Sunday 4 May 2003
Last Update 4 May 2003 12:00 am
NICOSIA, 4 May 2003 — Saudi Arabia plans to boost oil production capacity to more than 11 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2007, an industry newsletter reports in its Monday edition.
Saudi Aramco is undertaking several projects to increase crude output by 1.75 million bpd, 800,000 bpd of which will offset normal reductions in mature oilfields, says the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES).
The projects, costing billions of dollars, are intended to consolidate the current sustainable capacity of 10.5 million bpd. The Kingdom’s total production capacity in four years would be around 11.5 million bpd. The first step will be the completion later this month of the 300,000 bpd Arab Light crude Haradh-2 in the Eastern Province, says the Nicosia-based weekly.
The project will also produce 127 million cubic feet of gas Haradh-2 costs are estimated at $320 million.
The third Arab Light Increment at Haradh is also expected to produce 300,000 bpd on completion by 2006. But the main project is Aramco’s large-scale Qatif-Abu Safah development project in the Eastern Province, due for completion in October 2004. The project is expected to cost between $1.2-1.5 billion.
The new onshore and offshore facilities along the Gulf coast will have the capacity to produce 800,000 barrels of crude and 350 million standard cubic feet of associated gas per day.
The new capacity will offset normal reductions in certain mature oilfields and is not aimed at increasing the company’s overall capacity. The project calls for the installation of three gas-oil separation plants, installation of five new offshore platforms, upgrading of 10 existing platforms and construction of 450 km of pipelines.
The plans also call for the development of the Khursaniyah, Fadhili and Abu Hadriyah oil fields to produce up to 500,000 bpd.
Saudi Aramco, established in 1988, has over the past decade alone, invested more than $22 billion in oil and gas facilities. Another activity in support of the oil sector is the design and construction of approximately 2,300 km of flow lines and cross-country pipelines that will be added to the network over the next four years.