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Thu 10 Mar 2011 05:57 PM

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Maersk Oil Qatar plans further development of Al Shaheen field

Company official says fifteen additional wells are yet to be drilled as part of the expansion agreed to in 2005

Maersk Oil Qatar plans further development of Al Shaheen field
OIL DEAL Maersk agreed with Qatar Petroleum in 2005 to more than double Al Shaheen field’s capacity to exceed 500,000 barrels a day by 2009 (Bloomberg Images)

Maersk Oil Qatar, a unit of AP Moller Maersk A/S, will devise a plan this year to extend the life of the Arabian Gulf country’s largest oil field after completing a $6.2bn project to boost its production.

The company is studying Al Shaheen and will prepare a plan for further development by midyear, managing director Lewis Affleck said in a March 8 interview in the capital, Doha.

Maersk agreed with state-controlled Qatar Petroleum in 2005 to more than double the offshore field’s capacity to exceed 500,000 barrels a day by 2009. Qatar Petroleum is currently limiting output to 300,000 barrels a day, Affleck said.

“We expect in the future to be extending wells into other areas that weren’t tapped,” he said. “There is still a lot of potential left in this field.”

Maersk had “some disappointments” with the flow at Al Shaheen and lowered its daily production expectations, CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen said on a conference call in November.

“We had a few subsurface surprises,” Affleck said. “We are in the business of managing risk.” Affleck didn’t say what the maximum capacity of the field is.

Maersk has installed fifteen new oil platforms, 300km (186 miles) of pipeline and drilled 163 wells, Affleck said. Fifteen additional wells are yet to be drilled as part of the expansion agreed to in 2005, he said. In addition, 800,000 barrels a day of water are being injected into the field to force oil to the surface.

Qatar, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries second-smallest producer ahead of Ecuador, pumped 820,000 barrels a day in February, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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