Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, chairman of the board of directors at Saudi Arabian Oil Co., toured oil and natural gas installations in the country as part of a review of the country's long-term energy prospects.
The company announced, during his tour, that preliminary operations began at the Manifa oil field. It's expected to reach an initial production capacity of 500,000 barrels of oil per day during the first half of 2013 and hit the 900,000 bpd mark by 2014.
Crude oil from the field will be fed into domestic refineries that are currently under construction, the company stated.
The company said oil and natural gas projects like Manifa will help meet the country's rising demand for energy and enhance its position overseas.
The country is shifting its energy mix to meet growing domestic demand. In September, a report from Citigroup predicted that Saudi Arabia may need to start importing oil by 2030 to meet domestic energy demand. More than 80 percent of the country's revenue is based on oil.