Saudi Aramco starts production at mammoth field

Saudi Aramco has started production at its behemoth Manifa field, putting out 500,000 barrels of crude per day from a network of wells drilled through man-made islands, the world’s largest oil company said Monday.

The field is located in a bay along the Persian Gulf. The company began production on April 10, a full three months ahead of schedule and under budget, it said in a news release.

Saudi Aramco plans to increase its output from the field to 900,000 barrels of Arabian heavy crude per day next year, an oil production total larger than that of many countries.

Saudi Aramco, which is wholly owned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, produces more hydrocarbons than Exxon Mobil Corp,. Chevron and BP combined.

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The company’s Manif field involved rigs constructed on 27 manmade islands, which were connected by 25 miles of causeways.

“The Manifa story will be a very bright and shining example in our corporate history,” Saudi Aramco CEO Khalid Al-Falih said in a statement. “It really opens a new page in terms of overcoming various hurdles and complexities most notably through human and technological innovation.”

In a recent interview with FuelFix, Al-Falih said technology advancement, both related to oil and gas as well as to renewable technologies, will play a key role in moving the company forward.

The Manifa project is a demonstration of that in action, he said.