Saudi fast tracks 1.5 million bpd extra oil capacity plans

Published May 10th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

DUBAI, (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer, is advancing two new projects that together could add some 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil output capacity (bpd), industry sources said on Wednesday, May 9. 

 

The envisaged schemes—Qatif and Khurais—could build at least another one million bpd onto Saudi Aramco's current capacity of 10.5 million bpd over the next few years once declines at other fields are taken into account, analysts said. 

 

State oil giant Saudi Aramco intends to reveal the contractor for the giant Khurais project, which could pump one million bpd of Arab Medium, as early as next month, sources in the region said. 

 

"Khurais would be major—there's nothing there," said an industry source. 

 

And the estimated $1 billion Qatif development is already on the front burner. 

 

"The Qatif project is very fast track," an industry source said. Saudi Aramco hopes to reduce some of the pressure on the kingdom's Ghawar oil field when Qatif starts pumping. 

 

Qatif's two mothballed fields are expected to yield about 500,000 barrels per day (bpd)—250,000 bpd of Arab Medium and the equivalent amount of Arab Extra Light, analysts said. 

 

Enquiries for engineering, procurement and construction [EPC] contractors for the Qatif project, managed by Foster Wheeler , are due to be made in June and contracts could be in place by November, industry sources said. 

 

Both projects would require Saudi Aramco's final seal of approval. 

 

The kingdom is now pumping just under eight million bpd, according to a Reuters survey, thus leaving a capacity cushion of 2.5 million bpd.  

 

 

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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