Aramco to Start Up Khursaniyah Oil Field Behind Schedule

DUBAI, Jan 3, 2008 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world's largest oil company, Thursday said it is in the process of bringing on stream its 500,000-barrel-a-day Khursaniyah oil field development, originally due for completion in late 2007.

"Pre-commissioning activities are currently underway. The facility will be brought online upon completion of commissioning activities," Aramco said in an emailed statement without providing a reason for the delay or a revised timeframe.

The project, to produce 500,0000 barrels a day of Arabian light crude, was initially estimated to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of 2007, in line with the project's original schedule.

The development covers the onshore Abu Hadriyah, Fadhili, and Khursaniyah fields, and will also add capacity to process 1 billion cubic feet a day of associated gas and 80,000 barrels a day of condensates.

The Khursaniyah project is part of Saudi Arabia's plan to raise daily production capacity to 12.5 million barrels from just above 11 million barrels now by the end of the decade.

"Should the need arise prior to the completion of the project, Saudi Aramco stands ready to meet market demands with ample spare capacity including one million barrels of Arab light crude," the Dhahran-based company said in the statement.

DUBAI, Jan 3, 2008 (Dow Jones Newswires)