Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Aramco), the world’s largest oil company by production, will spend as much as US$45.3bn between 2007 and 2011 as part of an investment programme that will see crude oil production capacity increase by almost a third and refining capacity by about 35%.

State-owned Saudi Aramco will spend the largest part of its capital expenditure programme worth US$26.6bn on expanding crude production capacity by 2.95mn barrels a day to more than 12mn b/d by the end of 2011.
The remainder of the expenditure programme, US$18.7bn, will flow into the development of natural gas, natural gas liquids and ethane resources, and into refining, exploration, shipping and support.

Saudi Arabia, flush with cash from three years of high oil prices, is spending billions of dollars on expanding its oil and gas infrastructure to meet rising global energy demand, in particular from fast-growing economies such as China and India, and to support hydrocarbon-based industries including petrochemicals to diversify the local economy and create jobs for its growing population.

Under the investment programme, Aramco will add crude capacity from five fields – Khursaniyah, Shaybah, Nuayyim, Khurais and Manifa – which will add a total of 2.95mn b/d over the next four years.
The next field to come on stream will be Khursaniya by the end of the year, while the largest capacity addition will come from the Khurais field development, which will add 1.2mn b/d by mid 2009.

Aramco’s worldwide refining capacity will increase by more than a third to 6mn barrels in the next five years.

Investments into the downstream sector will include the Ras Tanura integrated refining and petrochemical complex, and new export refineries in Yanbu, at the Red Sea, and in Jubail, located on the Persian Gulf, that will meet product specifications in markets with stringent environmental regulations such as the US and Europe.

Aramco is also working on plans to expand its existing refinery at Yanbu, one of five Aramco-owned refineries in Saudi Arabia.

Aramco will go ahead with its expansion plans despite a 25% slide in US oil prices since mid July.