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Source: Reuters

FACTBOX-Saudi Khurais field, a boost to world's oil

Published: 10 Jun 2009 17:49:59 PST

June 10 - The world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia started pumping crude gradually from the largest ever single addition to global oil supplies.

Following are some facts on the 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) Khurais oilfield project.

- Khurais' capacity is equivalent to over 1.5 percent of daily global demand of just over 83 million barrels per day.

- Khurais will give OPEC's most influential member, Saudi Arabia, around 4.5 million bpd of spare capacity. That is more than the capacity of OPEC'S second-largest producer Iran.

- Khurais alone can pump more crude than either of OPEC's smallest members Ecuador and Qatar. It is almost as much as current output from the next largest member, Algeria.

- The more-than $10 billion project is one of the largest ever additions to global oil production capacity and the largest integrated oilfield project taken on by Aramco to date.

- The project is named after the Khurais oilfield, but will handle oil from three fields: Khurais, Abu Jifan and Mazalij.

- Khurais is the largest of three oilfield projects to take Saudi total production capacity to 12.5 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of June. The other two fields included in Aramco's programme are the 250,000 bpd Shaybah field expansion project and the 100,000 Nuayyim field. Nuayyim started pumping in May.

- The kingdom has said it will pump crude at full capacity from Khurais in order to rest some capacity at Ghawar, the world's largest oilfield. Ghawar pumped around 5 million bpd last year.

- Khurais is one of two giant oil reservoirs left for the kingdom to tap. The other is the Moneefa oilfield, which it plans to bring on line in 2013, if global demand warrants.

- Khurais will produce Arab Light crude, which is Saudi Arabia's main export grade and well-liked by refiners for the ease with which it can be transformed into transport fuels.

- The project involved drilling 420 wells and building four oil processing facilities and two more for gas. More than 28,000 workers and 26 contractors worked at Khurais.

- The field needs two million barrels per day of water injection but lies 190 km from Aramco's Qurayyah seawater treatment plant. That plant was expanded and pipelines built to pump the water needed from the Gulf to the fields. Aramco drilled 120 wells alone for water injection.

- The project used 145,000 tonnes of structured steel, 4,000 km of piping, more than 10,000 km of cable and poured 470,000 cubic metres of concrete.

- Khurais is located about 90 miles east of Riyadh and near Ghawar.

Please see story SAUDI-KHURAIS/ (UPDATE 2)

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