Saudi Aramco has started to scale back some production from its mature oil fields as it ramps up production from the offshore Manifa field, CEO Khalid al-Falih says. Manifa is due to reach full 900,000 b/d capacity by the end of the year, though its heavy crude is promised to two export-oriented refineries. Rising domestic refining capacity and continued high energy consumption, however, will require sustained high levels of production if Aramco is to meet its medium-term export commitments.

Saudi Aramco warned in its 2013 Annual Review that the dramatic rise in national demand for energy, which has been growing at 7-8%, means volumes meant for export “may decline to unacceptably low levels in the coming two decades.” Aramco is banking on a national energy conservation program and a gradual shift to natural gas for power generation to free up more oil for export. (CONTINUED - 1166 WORDS)