Saudi Aramco has stepped up contract awards to develop key offshore fields to offset production declines elsewhere. The aim is to maintain crude production capacity of around 12.5mn b/d.

Saudi Arabia is currently producing at just under 10mn b/d and has production capacity of 12.5mn b/d. But with a natural decline rate of around 6%, it must add some 600,000 b/d of extra production each year just to stand still (MEES, 5 June 2015).

The kingdom looks to be increasingly focusing on its...