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Manifa Oil field
The Manifa oil field was discovered in 1957, making it one of the oldest offshore fields in the Kingdom. The six-reservoir field, situated 255 kilometers northwest of Dhahran, measures approximately 45 km in length and 18 km in width. It lies offshore in less than 15 meters of water. The Manifa field was brought onstream in 1964, with facilities capable of handling 125,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd). However, due to global low crude oil demand, coupled with very low prices ($2 a barrel), production from the Manifa field was halted in 1984. A quarter of a century later, a rise in global demand for oil and an increase in prices to unprecedented levels at that time brought about an historic change. In accordance with the Kingdom’s commitment to responding to the increasing global demands of its customers, Saudi Aramco renewed the development of the Manifa field in 2007 — one of the several developmental project aimed at increasing our maximum capacity to 12.5M bpd. In April 2013, the first milestone was achieved with the commissioning of the field and central processing facilities to deliver 500,000 bpd of Arabian heavy crude. By 2017, the field should reach its maximum production capacity of 900,000 bpd. Containing 350 wells with maximum depth that reaches 32,000 feet, Manifa was developed in innovative ways, according to the best safety and environment-friendly standards in the world. Despite all of the hurdles and challenges — most important of which was the global financial crisis in 2008 — the company was successful in overcoming all obstacles to accomplish the Manifa project three months ahead of schedule. In addition to the realization of a dream, the Manifa success story reflected the country’s wisdom and leadership in preserving natural resources for the coming generations of our people by choosing the right time to capitalize on these natural resources in order to achieve heightened prosperity for the Kingdom. The Manifa oil field is celebrated today because of its innovative design and approach to sustainable environmental preservation and oil production. The conversion of the offshore field to an onshore field involved the construction of 27 man-made islands, connected by a 41 km causeway. Saudi Aramco pursued multiple facets in the development of the oil field. Consequently, the Manifa Bay program is energy self-sufficient, and its electrical substation cogenerates 420 megawatts of electric power — making it the first zero-flaring project in the company.
Manifa’s production of heavy Arabian crude was allocated to supply the SATORP refinery in Jubail and YASREF refinery in Yanbu’ — our two joint ventures with France’s Total, and China’s Sinopec respectively, both of which are designed to handle this kind of oil. As the fifth largest oil field in the world and one of Saudi Aramco’s most challenging fields to develop, Manifa features the utilization of the best technologies in infrastructure operations, drilling and production. The field development team also achieved nearly 80 million working hours without injury to score one of the highest global safety levels, and in 2012 it received an award as the best innovative oil project in the world. The development of the Manifa project is also a shining example of Saudi Aramco’s excellence through our 80-year history of managing megaprojects. The Manifa project has opened a whole new chapter in the field of innovation, technical and creative development. It serves as a model exemplifying the company’s basic values, especially citizenship through the careful preservation of the environment as well as the increasing rates of Saudization and localization of procurement. In the designing, construction and operation of this giant and uniquely sophisticated project, the total of locally manufactured goods exceeded more than half of the total value of all purchases, and also featured training programs for young Saudis in the latest technologies. All told, the Manifa project stands as a true testament to our long-standing commitment to meeting the growing energy needs of all of our customers — both in the Kingdom and around the world, while continuing to serve as a leading contributor to the development of Saudi Arabia as a whole, and its citizens.
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