Saudi Arabia Review

Manifa ... outstanding contribution

Manifa ... outstanding contribution

Manifa selected as ‘innovative’ project

The innovative oil project will make an outstanding contribution to the success of the firm and highlight the technical capability of the local industry on the world stage

DECADES ago, engineers turned off the taps at Manifa offshore oil field because the challenges of getting the vast amount of heavy crude out of the ground were too great. Now, with new technology, Saudi Aramco engineers are preparing to turn Manifa’s taps back on in March 2013, and they are already winning awards for their innovations.

At the 2012 Middle East Oil and Gas Awards, Saudi Aramco’s Manifa Development Team accepted an award for “Innovative Oil Project of the Year.” It was one of three awards given to Saudi Aramco and its employees; the others were Young Engineer of the Year and Health & Safety Initiative of the Year.

In describing the requirements for the award, Oil and Gas Awards officials wrote that the Innovative Oil Project “will make an outstanding contribution to the success of the company” and to “highlight the technical capability of the local industry on the world stage.”

For Majid Otaibi, Manifa is a particularly challenging oil field that has opened a lot of opportunities to innovate and stretch available technology beyond limits.

“I think it’s the innovative nature of the way that the Manifa field is being developed, and the environmental stewardship that won us the Oil and Gas Award this year,” says Otaibi, the supervisor for reservoir management and team leader of the Manifa project. “It is the technology that is being developed for Manifa that is taking conventional technology beyond what the energy industry currently does.”

Manifa is a unique field in many ways, Otaibi says. For one thing, it is massive, and expected to produce 900,000 barrels a day (bpd) by the end of 2014. It is an offshore oil field that is being developed from onshore, with dry-land rigs deployed along a specially built causeway. Most importantly, it is a field filled with heavy crude oil that will require special care for the oil to be optimally produced. Saudi Aramco is ready for the challenge.

“At Manifa, we have people who have come to join Saudi Aramco just to participate in Manifa; I have never seen anything like it,” Otaibi says.

“My father was a producing foreman at Manifa,” Otaibi says.

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