Saturday, June 13, 2009

Khurais Oil Field Begins Production.

Reckoned at 1.25 million barrels a day, the Khurais oil field will increase Saudi oil production from 11.3 mbd to 12.5 mbd. Situated 160 km south of Riyadh, oil is now being pumped into tanks there in a project that will move more oil than the output of Qatar or Indonesia, at a cost of 37 billion Suadi riyals ($10 billion) . By 2013, another project reckoned to produce 0.9 mbd from an expansion of the Moneefa oil field, will extend Saudi output capacity above an additional 2 mbd.

The Khurais field in fact comprises of three fields, Kurais, Abu Jifan and Mazalij, which yield Arabian light crude, highly sought after since it is readily refined into petrol. The minister for petroleum and mineral resources has made clear that the Kingdom does not depend on this additional supply of oil, and current requirements for oil are not high enough to demand it.

The Kingdom claims it could produce 15 mbd should demand so dictate, and has outlined plans for how this might be done, although there are no immediate intentions to increase output further. I recall King Abdullah saying a while ago that oil "should be left in the ground for future generations", which will leave Saudi in a very powerful position as supplies of oil wane elsewhere throughout the world.

In addition to its oil otuput, the Khurais field will also produce 315 million cubic feet per day of sour gas and 70,000 bpd of natural gas liquids, which will be processed at the Shedgum and Yanbu gas refineries. A reserve of 27 billion barrels of oil is reckoned for Khurais. The global economic recession has slowed demand for oil and this has prompted the OPEC nations to cut oil production, including Saudi. It is expected that Khurais will be producing oil for the next 20 - 25 years.

Altogether, the project necessitates drilling 420 wells and constructing 4 new oil and two new gas processing plants. An expansion of seawater well-injection by 4.5 million barrels a day at the Qurayyah treatment plant is also necessary.

Related Reading.
"Saudi Aramoco Starts Production From Khurais Oil Field in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,"


Yorkshireminer said...

Dear Chris,
I used to be a lot more up to date with what is going on in Saudi having worked for several years in Qatar and been into Saudi once, (never again). The Khurais oil field if my memory serves me correctly is an old field 30 or 40 years old if fact I am almost certain it was moth balled a couple of decades ago or at least very little investment was done because of geological problems. 10 billion seems a lot to rejuvenate an old field. From what I have been reading lately the Saudis are having to resort to more and more water injection to maintain production in the Ghawah field and I would expect that they will have to do the same to this lame duck of a field, so is that where the 10 billion is disappearing, too pumping sea water from the Gulf 300 miles inland too be pumped into the structure to maintain pressure. If that is so then Saudi is in shit street, as far as I know they have not discovered a new giant field in 30 years. Another point is the Saudi oil production has been running about 8-9 million barrels a day and they have been doing that for the last 4 years could 11 million something or other be just wishful thinking. If they are bouncing around 8-9 million barrels for the last 4 years then to my mind they have peaked. This whole thing stinks of bullshit. Qatar and Indonesia have been in decline for years. The Um Bab field in Qatar is in steep decline and Indonesia has not exported oil for years any field coming on line could out produce them. This to me seems a desperate back hand to give the world the illusion that Saudi is a cornucopia of oil. When Ghawah goes tits up, and it will, it is over 50 years old now, then then Saudi goes tits up and with it the world economy. I suspect that this rejuvenated field is being brought on line to take up the slack when Ghawah starts to decline.brothwel

Professor Chris Rhodes said...

Dear Dave,

thanks for your insight into this. Yes, it's difficult to get hold of hard numbers about reserves etc., but if it's true that Ghawar has peaked then maybe this is an effort to "take up the slack".

It's true, that when Ghawar does "go" so will our lifestyles.

I expect that there will be all kinds of schemes - Arctic drilling etc. - and all else to grab what can be grabbed of the world's last throws of oil. Most of these are only viable now the price of a barrel of oil has begun to rise again - $73 this morning.

It doesn't look good for the world economy. The word stagflation comes to mind - rocketing oil and thus all other prices but flat "growth".

I am beginning to think we are seeing the final days of capitalism... that there are not sufficient recoverable resources (at a sensible price or otherwise) to sustain that relentless "growth" that capitalism rides upon.

Deep regards,


Serj said...

Dave, you are right about water flood at Khurais. The plans call for a 1.2 million bpd of oil production and 2 million bpd of water injection, which has to be pumped from the Persian Gulf. That would mean that Khurais will experience a water cut of almost 50% right off the bat and it is questionable how long a production level of over 1 million bpd can be maintained there. Together with the situation of Ghawar (it can go the way of Cantarell real quick!) Saudi Arabia might peak and enter decline soon.

I am not as pessimistic as to the future of capitalism as Chris is though. Harnessing human ingenuity for economic progress is an integral feature of capitalism. Non-conventional oil, nuclear, solar etc. are all energy sources we can and will use in the 21st century as oil becomes more scarce.

Professor Chris Rhodes said...

Hi Serj,

the problem is to implement alternative/unconventional sources of energy at anywhere near the amount we use now. We are also peaking in metals and other resources including rock phosphate for fertilizer.

I think that we will be unable to match the status quo which does mean that overall growth is not possible to maintain... and that, ergo does look to me like the end of captialism.

This is however not to take a defeatist line: growth of other technogies particularly on the local scale is necessary and possible; hence our ingenuity has the prospect of expansion but the overall global village really has had-it!



Vartkes said...

Dear All,
After all the above comments i need to be sure is Khurais oil field is new dicovered or as Yorkshireminer said it's 3 or 40 years oil fiel, and wheather it's working now with all it's capacity (1.2 Million bbl/d) or it's planned to reach this number few years later.

I'm a researcher in oil and i hope you all can help me and what are the best ways to keep in touch.

Thank you all, and best regards.


Professor Chris Rhodes said...

Dear Vartkes,

it has just recently come on-line apparently: