Saudi Aramco Signs Manifa Contract

Saudi Aramco has signed a contract with Belgium dredging contractor Jan De Nul to help develop the 900,000 barrel per day (bpd) Manifa offshore oil field.

Scheduled for completion in 2009, Jan De Nul will carry out dredging works in the Arabian Gulf before building several drilling islands and a 41-km causeway that will provide Saudi Aramco with a direct link from the coast to shallow-water offshore man-made drilling islands.

This is the first Lump Sum Turn Key (LSTK) contract to be signed under Saudi Aramco's Manifa development program, their largest offshore project. It aims to add 900,000 bpd of Arabian Heavy crude production by 2011.

"This sets the stage for one of our major investments in the region," said Ali A. Al-Ajmi, Saudi Aramco's vice president of Project Management. "Jan De Nul's role is very critical and instrumental."

The design and procurement out-of-Kingdom contract was signed by Al-Ajmi and Noel Pille, Jan De Nul Group's director of Offshore Work. The procurement and build contract was signed by Al-Ajmi and Bassam Atiyeh, managing director of Jan De Nul Saudi Arabia Company Ltd.

The ambassador of Belgium in Saudi Arabia, Rudi Schellinck, along with representatives from Jan De Nul, attended the signing.

The Manifa crude oil field is a grassroots development that will be developed all at once from scratch. The central processing facility will be constructed on a site where there is nothing now but desert, beach and one small communications building. Crude oil will be separated there from associated gasses, water and other liquids and will be shipped by pipeline to Ju'aymah.

In addition to the 900,000 bpd of crude oil, the central processing facility also will handle 120 million standard cubic feet per day (scfd) of sour gas, 50,000 bpd of condensate and 950,000 bpd of produced water.

The associated natural gas liquids (NGL) will be piped to the Khursaniyah Gas Plant, which is still under construction. The Manifa gasses will be mixed with gas from the Khursaniyah field and all of it sent to Ju'aymah Gas Plant. There it will become part of the sales gas for the Kingdom.