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Aramco’s giant Zuluf oilfield expansion: 5 facts you need to know

Zuluf Field, a super-giant oil field located in the Arabian Gulf, approximately 40 kilometers offshore the north-east coast of Saudi Arabia, is undergoing expansion to increase its production capacity.

Owned and operated by Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco, the field is being expanded under the Zuluf field development programme, which began in January 2018.

Here are five facts you need to know about the expansion project:

  • The expansion project will increase the field’s production capacity from 800,000 barrels per day of Arabian medium crude oil to 1.4 million barrels per day of heavy crude oil.
  • The Zuluf oil field expansion includes the development of the fourth offshore gas oil separation plant (GOSP)-4, which includes installation of a single well observation platform, three gas observation platforms, as well as subsea pipelines and cables. It also includes installation of nine slipover jackets and decks.
  • In January 2022, Aramco finalised awards worth more than $4.5 billion for five key offshore packages linked to the Zuluf oilfield expansion. McDermott International, Abu Dhabi’s National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) and a pairing of L&T with Oslo-listed Subsea 7 landed prized EPC packages for the huge expansion scheme.
  • Discovered in 1965, the shallow water oil field is located in 36m-deep waters and has been producing since 1973. With two main sandstone reservoir structures, namely Zuluf and Ribyan, the offshore oil field is estimated to contain more than 31 billion barrels of oil-equivalent (boe) in proven reserves.
  • As of August 2022, procurement activities of the expansion project are in progress, and various subcontracts are in the Request for Quotations or Technical Bid Evaluation stages.

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