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Khurais Oil Project Takes Major Step

Source: 3/1/2006, Location: Middle East

The largest crude increment program ever to be carried out by Saudi Aramco took a major step forward with a key job explanation meeting held recently in Dhahran. Saudi Aramco met Feb. 22 with contractors to discuss two of the 25 contract packages that make up the new Khurais Crude Increment Program. Although that represents less than one-tenth of the number of packages, the two packages actually cover 80 percent of the work involved.

"The Khurais Crude Increment Program is the largest crude increment undertaken in the history of Saudi Aramco and is one of the largest industrial projects being executed in the world today," said Mohammed H. Rabeh, manager of Khurais Projects. "It's a key strategic program that will help us meet our commitment to the worldÂżs growing energy demands.", It's not every day we build a facility from scratch that will increase the maximum sustaining capacity of our oil production, He add.

The program is expected to be a challenging one because of the large scope of the facilities, the extensive and diverse work locations and the short time scales involved. It is expected to be completed by June 2009.

At the first Job Explanation meeting with international contractors to be held in-Kingdom, company representatives discussed the scope of the two packages - the Khurais Crude Facilities and the Khurais Gas Facilities. They followed that the next day with a site visit to the Khurais area. The mission of the program is to design, construct and bring into production safe and reliable facilities to produce 1.2 million barrels per day of stabilized Arabian Light (AL) crude and 4.5 million bpd of treated seawater for reservoir injection. Guidelines are in place, as always, to accomplish the task with the highest quality and the least cost, all on or ahead of schedule.

The Khurais project covers three oil fields: Khurais, Abu Jifan and Mazalij. The Khurais field, the biggest of the three, is 127 km long and covers 2,890 sq. km. It is about 250 km southwest of Dhahran and 140 km west of Hofuf. Abu Jifan covers 520 sq. km southwest of Khurais. Mazalij covers 1,630 sq. km southeast of Abu Jifan. There are four existing gas/oil separation plants (GOSPs) in operation in the Khurais field and one GOSP in each of the two other fields. Currently, the combined production capacity is 300,000 bpd.

The scope of the new program will extend across the Kingdom, involving major construction at six separate locations and the development of 10 million square meters of land. Headlining the program will be the Khurais Central Processing Facility, providing crude processing and stabilization facilities. That will be supported by new infrastructure including new wells and trunklines, new seawater supply and injection lines, a residential and industrial complex, and new product lines.

In addition to the 1.2 million bpd of AL crude blend that will be produced and delivered through the East/West Pipeline, the program will produce 315 million standard cubic feet per day (scfd) of sour gas for Shedgum Gas Plant and 70,000 bpd of natural gas liquids (NGL) for Yanbu` Gas Plant.

The program will increase the amount of treated seawater from the Qurrayah Seawater Treatment Plant by 4.5 million bpd, measuring the largest single seawater injection capacity expansion ever to be done under one program. Such an extensive project requires a large, dedicated and coordinated team. With that in mind, an 80-member Saudi Aramco team undertook an important step early on, even before design work had begun.

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