Saudi Aramco is developing the Qatif and Abu Sa’fah fields as a single large-scale project. The Qatif-Abu Sa’fah development lies in the Eastern province.
The new onshore and offshore facilities along the Gulf coast have the capacity to produce, process and transport 500,000bpd of Arabian light crude from the Qatif field, and 300,000bpd of Arabian medium crude from the Abu Sa’fah field, as well as 370 million standard cubic feet per day of associated gas.
Production from Qatif started in July 2004, three months ahead of schedule and production from Abu Sa’fah field began in September 2004.
The Qatif field is composed of north and south domes. The Qatif gas and oil separation plant (GOSP)-2 gathers gas and 200,000 barrels of crude per day and sends it all to the central processing facility in the north, where the crude is blended with 300,000bpd from the north dome. All the crude is then desalted, stabilised and processed, and shipped to Ju’aymah and Ras Tanura. The gas is sent to the Berri Gas Plant.
The Qatif field measures 10km x 50km (6.2 x 31 miles) and consists of seven oil-bearing reservoirs containing approximately 8.4 billion barrels. The Abu Sa’fah field measures 10km x 19km (6.2 x 11 miles) and has reserves of 6.1 billion barrels.
The development includes three GOSPs, the installation of five new offshore platforms and upgrading ten existing platforms as well as building 30 drilling islands, constructing 450km of pipelines and 600km of fibre-optic cable and an Industrial Support Facilities Complex consisting of an administration building and maintenance workshops.
The central processing facilities include GOSP-1, Abu Sa’fah GOSP, stabilisation, gas gathering and dehydration. In addition, it includes north water injection facilities with the capacity to inject 650,000 barrels of water per day.
Qatif was the company’s first field to produce Arab Light oil by blending Arab Extra Light and Arab Medium, and it was the first to be self-sufficient in power and steam, through the construction of an on-site co-generation plant. Exhaust from the power station is harnessed to produce steam for the plant.
Abu Sa’fah oil and gas field
The Abu Sa’fah portion of the project also included a new 42in trunkline to the Qatif central producing facility, as well as flanklines to connect new offshore wells and fibre-optic and power cables.
151 development wells were planned in the onshore Qatif project, including producer, injector and water wells. For Abu Sa’fah, 29 new offshore wells and 61 workovers of existing wells were planned.
Qatif and Abu Sa’fah development
The scope of the overall project included 34 drilling islands, 1,000km (621 miles) of in-plant piping, 2,700km (1,678 miles) of electrical cable, 3,000km (1,863 miles) of fibre-optic cable, an electrical substation and transmission lines, and myriad support facilities.
The Qatif and Abu Sa’fah development used a total of 130,000m³ of concrete and 57,000t of structural steel and equipment.
The power supply includes one 230kV electrical substation and new transmission lines. Altogether, 12,000 workers, of over 20 nationalities, were employed on the project.
Berri Gas Plant expansion
A critical component of the Qatif and Abu Sa’fah project is the expansion of the Berri Gas Plant. Before the project, the Berri Gas Plant produced 1,600t per day of recovered sulphur. After the increase in gas production, recovered sulphur rose to 3,300t per day.
The new sulphur recovery units are designed to recover 99% of sulphur feed using Super Claus technology. The expansion project began in March 2001 and was completed by Technip-Coflexip as per the contract awarded in March 2002.
The contract for Qatif’s water injection pipelines and crude offshore pipelines was awarded to Global Al Rushaid Offshore Company in July 2007.
The scope of work included installation of water injection pipelines and crude oil flowlines, and other pipelines including subsea valve skids.
The GOSP was built by Chicago Bridge & Iron Company based on the contract awarded in March 2002.
The other contractors involved in the project were Snamprogetti, National Petroleum Construction (United Arab Emirates), Construction and Contracting Enterprise (CCE) and Suedrohrbau.