Drilling firms and oilfield service providers have been increasingly focused on the Middle East for growth opportunities of late, with the likes of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar all embarking on ambitious expansion projects in recent years (MEES, 26 January). It was therefore a blow when Aramco announced in late January that it is no longer increasing its production capacity to 13mn b/d and will instead keep it at 12mn b/d (MEES, 16 February).

However, with major offshore expansion projects going ahead regardless, opportunities still abound. Maintaining capacity at 12mn b/d will require huge investment, while Aramco is still planning to increase gas production by around 60% by 2030. Speaking at the IPTC conference in Dhahran on 13 February, Aramco’s Upstream President Nasir al-Naimi said that “we’ll focus on what we do best, we will be concentrating on producing oil and gas, bringing more increments online to strengthen our portfolio.” (CONTINUED - 258 WORDS)