VIENNA (Dow Jones Newswires), October 24, 2008
Saudi Arabia will bring on stream its 1.2 million barrel a day Khurais oil field development in mid-2009, the country's oil minister Ali Naimi said Friday.
"Come June 2009 and you will see Khurais (oil field) on stream," Naimi said, speaking after agreeing with fellow OPEC members to cut the group's crude output by 1.5 million barrels a day to stem a decline in oil prices.
Naimi said the 500,000-barrel a day Khursaniyah oil field, which was originally due to start pumping crude at the end of 2007, was now on stream.
The field developments are part of Saudi Arabia's plan to raise daily production capacity, including output from the partitioned neutral zone shared with Kuwait, to 12.5 million barrels a day of crude oil by the end of 2009.
Asked whether the kingdom will go ahead with all oil production projects currently under way despite low crude price levels, Naimi said: "If we had changed we would have published it."
State-run Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Saudi Aramco, is also working on plans to develop and add capacity at other oil fields including at the onshore Nuayyim and Shaybah fields, and at the large-scale Manifa heavy oil field.
Aramco earlier this month also launched the tender process for the development of the onshore Dammam oil field in the country's east.
OPEC ministers have warned that sliding oil prices and the global credit crisis potentially put new oil capacity expansion projects at risk.
The group said Friday the situation puts many existing oil development projects in jeopardy and could lead to the cancellation or delay of others resulting in medium-term challenges to oil supply.
Saudi Arabia is by far OPEC's largest producer and the only one with any significant spare capacity.
Copyright (c) 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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