Riyadh to tap Manifa oil field

March 11, 2010 at 9:44 AM
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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, March 11 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia announced plans to develop the supergiant Manifa oil field, its largest offshore oil development ever, officials said.

The Manifa oil field in the waters of the Persian Gulf holds an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil.

Mohammed al-Abdulkarim, the manager of the Manifa project for Saudi Aramco, told delegates at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi that development plans were "on time and on budget," the Emirati newspaper The National reports.

The field is one of the projects slated by Saudi Arabia for the expansion of oil production. The project has an $11 billion price tag. It was delayed when oil prices collapsed from July 2008 highs.

Abdulkarim said at the conference that the project involves building a causeway to 31 shallow-water artificial drilling islands off the Saudi Arabian coast in the Manifa Bay.

Output from Manifa is expected to reach 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day, 90 million cubic feet of natural gas per day and 65,000 barrels per day of condensate.

Saudi Arabia has more than 4 million bpd of idle crude production capacity, The National added.

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