RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, April 16 (UPI) -- An early start to operations at the Manifa field in Saudi Arabia will lead to a production rate of 500,000 barrels per day by July, Saudi Aramco said.
Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known also as Saudi Aramco, said it started production at the Manifa field three months ahead of schedule and under budget.
The company expects field production to reach 500,000 bpd by July and full design capacity of 900,000 bpd by the end of 2014.
"The Manifa story will be a very bright and shining example in our corporate history," said Chairman and Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi in a statement. "It is a testimony to the company's values, particularly citizenship, by caring for the environment, Saudization and relying on national vendors to the maximum extent."
Saudi Aramco said the field was developed in a way that maintains natural water flow in the Manifa Bay near the Persian Gulf.
"The Manifa project is unique in many ways with its innovative engineering design to develop the field's optimum production capacity, while caring for the environment and optimizing its budget," the company said.
Saudi output from March was static when compared to February at 9 million bpd, Bloomberg News estimates.