Saudi Arabia completes oil expansion plan

Jun 27, 2010 02:00 AM

Saudi Arabia has completed a massive $ 100 bn (Dh 367 bn) investment programme launched over the past few years to expand its hydrocarbon industry and maintain its position as the world's dominant oil power.
The state-run Saudi Aramco, the largest producing oil company in the world, said it had channelled those funds into oil and gas output capacity expansions, petrochemicals, refining and associated projects.

Releasing its annual report for 2009, the company said the largest hydrocarbon investment programme in the kingdom's history has added nearly 3.8 mm bpd to the country's crude output capacity, including around two mm bpd in 2009 alone.
The increase boosted Saudi Arabia's sustainable oil production capacity to a record high of 12.5 mm bpd at the end of 2009, including its output from the Neutral Zone, an oil-rich border strip shared equally with Kuwait. Around 1.2 mm bpd came from a single reservoir, the giant Khurais oilfield.

"In 2009, Saudi Aramco completed major work on the largest capital programme in the company's history. The programme, with a total investment of more than $ 100 bn, spanned the company's energy portfolio and included multiple mega-projects in oil, gas, natural gas liquids, refining and petrochemicals," it said.
"New and expanded hydrocarbon facilities were built by the company or its affiliates in Saudi Arabia and China, while work to expand a refinery in the United States was well under way by year's end. Key in-kingdom support facilities such as water injection and distribution networks were also expanded or upgraded."

The report said oil projects raised Saudi Aramco's sustainable crude output capacity to 12 mm bpd, the highest in "our history and a capability unmatched by any other company in the petroleum industry".
"Including the original Shaybah increment, Saudi Aramco has brought online more than 3.8 mm bpd of oil production capacity," said Aramco. "Overall, Saudi Arabia's crude oil production capacity, including the country's share of production from the Partitioned (Neutral) Zone, now stands at 12.5 mm bpd, nearly 15 % of total global oil demand. In 2009 alone, Saudi Aramco added more than 2 mm bpd of crude production capacity, an amount greater than the total production of some major oil-producing nations."

The report said the largest oil venture to be completed during the investment programme was the Khurais project. Located 150 km southeast of Riyadh, the Khurais increment, which included the development of the Abu Jifan and Mazalij fields, added 1.2 mm bpd of Arabian Light crude and output started in July 2009.
"The Khurais project required teamwork on a massive scale: Work on the project took place in 14 locations around the world and involved more than 26 prime contractors, 106 subcontractors, and a work force of more than 28,000. Drilling work for more than 300 wells, initially scheduled to take three years, was completed 10 months ahead of time through a combination of innovative engineering and operations methods," the report said.

"The project also included the expansion of the Qurayyah Seawater Treatment Plant and the construction of a pipeline to deliver two mm bpd of treated seawater for injection into the Khurais field to maintain reservoir pressure. Overall, the capacity of the Qurayyah facility was raised by 4.5 mm bpd, for a total capacity of 12.5 mm bpd."
The report put Saudi Arabia's average oil production at 7.9 mm bpd in 2009 with such premium grades (Arabian Super Light, Extra Light and Light) comprising around 83 % of total production.

Aramco said that despite massive cumulative oil output, its proven crude reserves remained almost intact, standing at around 260.1 bn barrels, more than 20 % of the world's total extractable oil deposits.
"We replaced our 2009 crude oil production primarily through the re-assessment of geological and engineering studies, with additions from exploration, delineation and development drilling. We also added 13.2 tcf of non-associated gas reserves through our exploration programme and delineation drilling. Total natural gas reserves, including associated and non-associated gas, reached 275.2 tcf at the end of 2009."

Source / Emirates Business
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