Saudi Aramco begins Khursaniyah field production

Eric Watkins
Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 5 -- Saudi Arabia's state-owned Saudi Aramco, which earlier had to delay a planned start-up, has begun production from its Khursaniyah oil field, according to company officials. Production volumes could eventually ramp up to as much as 500,000 b/d.

"The facility is operational and producing crude," a Saudi Aramco official told Saudi Arabia's Arab News. "Its production rates are dependent on our company's monthly production targets for each facility," the source said.

Khursaniyah production, scheduled to begin in December 2007, was delayed due to global material shortages suffered in the construction of its associated gas processing plant.

The new production, which will be welcomed by markets, is part of the Saudi government's larger initiative to boost the country's oil and gas output.

Saudi Arabia, reported to be investing some $90 billion of its oil revenue to further develop production capacity, hopes to increase oil production capacity to 12.5 million b/d and double its refining capacity to 6 million b/d by 2009.

According to analyst Global Insight, "The final confirmation that Khursaniyah now is on stream, together with the general easing in what was until recently a very tight oil market, is now likely to further soothe fears of temporary shortages."

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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