Saudi Aramco cancels Manifa contract

Exploration / Development
Eric Watkins
Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19 — Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Saudi Aramco said it has cancelled a contract awarded in July to Saipem subsidiary Snamprogetti for development of the Manifa oil field.

Aramco, which recently announced plans to review all of its oil development projects, said it would retender the contract and invite Snam to bid again, along with Bechtel Group, Technip, and Foster Wheeler.

Earlier this month, Khaled al-Buraik, an Aramco executive director, said the company’s short-term projects were on track and that the kingdom would reach its target of increasing production capacity to 12.5 million b/d by yearend 2009.

But al-Buraik said that development of the Manifa field, which could have added about 900,000 b/d of capacity by 2011, was under review, as was a project to produce some 1.5 bcfd of gas from the Karan field.

“We are going back to our partners and discussing with them the new economic circumstances,” Buraik said. “We are not talking about delays, we are talking about reviewing” (OGJ, Nov. 6, 2008).

With Snam’s Manifa contract cancelled, however, it remains to be seen whether Aramco can maintain its schedule for the field and add the additional volumes it wanted by the originally planned date of 2011.

Contact Eric Watkins at



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