Aramco confirms deepwater Red Sea oil find

Offshore staff

DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia Saudi Aramco has discovered three oil and two gas fields over the last year, according to the company’s annual report.

These included the deepwater oil field Al-Haryd in the Red Sea, which followed a significant gas discovery in the Shaur structure in this region the previous year.

Also in 2013, the company executed its first deepwater drillstem test at Duba-1, in the northern Red Sea, in a water depth of 2,127 ft (648 m). Results indicated tight reservoirs for potential future development.

As for offshore development programs, the shallow-water Manifa field off eastern Saudi Arabia entered production in April 2013, three months ahead of schedule, with output reaching 500,000 b/d of oil by July.

By the time it reaches its full potential at the end of 2014, Manifa will have the capacity to produce 900,000 b/d of Arabian heavy crude, along with 90 MMcf/d (2.5 MMcm/d) of gas and 65,000 b/d of condensate. It will also deliver feedstock to Jubail and Yanbu’.

Development involved construction of 41 km (25 mi) of causeways, 3 km (1.8 mi) of  bridges, 27 drilling islands, 13 offshore platforms, 15 onshore drill sites, water supply wells, injection facilities, numerous pipelines, and a 420-MW heat and electricity plant. The man-made islands and the main and lateral causeways were constructed to house shallow-water wells, viewed as a more cost-effective option than offshore rigs.

Aside from being Aramco’s first project to combine onshore, offshore, and a causeway in a single project, Manifa established two world records, the company says. One was for drilling the deepest 6⅛-in. hole section to more than 37,000 ft (11,277 m), and the other for deploying a 7-in. liner with a length of more than 18,000 ft (5,486 m) to a depth of 26,000 ft (7,925 m).

Construction of the onshore Wasit gas plant is due to be completed this year. The facilities will process 2.66 bcf/d (75 MMcm/d) of non-associated offshore Khuff gas from the Arabiyah and Hasbah fields. Along with output from Karan, this will raise the Kingdom’s gas processing capacity by around 40%.

Under normal conditions, Wasit should supply 1.7 bcf/d (48 MMcm/d) of sales gas to the Master Gas System.


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