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Saudi to bring Manifa oil field online in 2013.

Byline: MANAMA:

Saudi Arabia plans to bring online in 2013 the last of the giant oil field projects on its expansion slate, an official at state oil giant Saudi Aramco said.

Aramco slowed work at the 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) Manifa project as it looked to cut costs on oil service contracts at the field and across its energy industry.

A slump in global energy demand has made further oilfield development less urgent for the world's top oil exporter. After delaying the project this year, no further delays were envisaged for now, Aramco's vice president of Northern Area Oil Operations Fahad Al-Moosa told reporters on the sidelines of an energy conference in Bahrain. "Sometime in 2013, it is on schedule," Moosa said. "We are working on the detailed design."

Aramco delayed the start date for the multi-billion dollar project earlier this year to 2013 from the initial schedule of 2011.

Early work on building a causeway to offshore facilities was near completion, and site preparation work was under way, he added.

Saudi Arabia reached crude capacity of 12.5 million bpd (mbpd) this year bringing on line fields including the 1.2 mbpd Khurais, the largest ever single addition to global oil production capacity.

Aramco is developing Manifa to compensate for declining capacity at other fields rather than to further boost total Saudi capacity. The kingdom has outlined plans to boost capacity to 15 mbpd, but sees no need to do so until global demand erodes spare capacity. It is pumping around 8 mbpd and is sitting on around 4.5 million of idled infrastructure.

Aramco plans to process Manifa's heavy crude at two new 400,000 bpd joint venture refineries. It is building one of the plants with France's Total and another with US major ConocoPhillips.

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Publication:Oil & Gas News
Date:Nov 8, 2009
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