Meet Manifa and other giant oil projects that will add to the global oil glut

manifa-project-webWorld oil consumption is more than 90 million barrels a day. Between 2009 and 2014 oil was traded for about 110 dollars a barrel; now oil is changing hands for 32 dollars a barrel. Roughly a 7-billion-dollar cash flow a day is vanishing from the global market. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund that has accumulated a stake of 4.5 billion dollars in Apple over the past years1, will turn from an Apple buyer into an Apple seller.

The China Development Bank (a Chinese policy bank) has poured nearly 50 billion dollars into Venezuela in return for oil, with the country now collapsing under the Chinese debt, having no other choice but to drill for more oil. These are just some of the challenges the world is facing in 2016 as oil prices are heading towards 20 dollars a barrel.

Speculators and manipulators were able to manipulate the oil price to more than 120 dollars a barrel,  with the production cost being roughly between 20 and 80 dollars. With a huge profit margin the world was digging for more and more liquid gold.
Shell, Total S.A., Exxon Mobil and China National Petroleum Corporation are now stuck with a 50-billion-worth project in the Caspian Sea, called Kashagan. The project is full of problems and delays, but is expected to add 300.000 barrels of oil a day to the global oil glut the coming year.

2016 will also be the inauguration of Shells Prelude, the world’s first floating liquefied natural gas platform as well as the largest offshore facility ever constructed. We expect the media to give limited coverage to its inauguration. 

While the media attention was directed to the shale oil boom in the US, the Saudis created a giant offshore oil project called Manifa. With one single project Manifa added 1 million barrels a day to the world oil glut. Manifa will expand its capacity the coming year, adding a further 500 thousand barrels a day to world markets.


The project is part of the development of the Saudi oilfields, which are expected to see an increase in production to over 12.5 million barrels a day from 11 million barrels a day. The first phase of the project began production in April 2013. The field produced 500,000bpd by July 2013. It will produce 900,000bpd of crude oil once fully completed by the end of 2014. Additionally, there will also be production of 90 million standard cubic feet per day of sour gas, 65,000bpd of gas condensate, and water. Source Offshore Technology

There are plans to extend the project with a further 500 barrels a day capacity.



Prelude FLNG is the world’s first floating liquefied natural gas platform as well as the largest offshore facility ever constructed. Prelude FLNG was approved for funding by Shell in 2011. Analyst estimates in 2013 for the cost of the vessel were between US$10.8 to 12.6 billion. Pressures from an increase in the long-term production capabilities of North American gas fields and increasing Russian export capabilities may reduce the actual profitability of the venture from what was anticipated in 2011. Source Wikipedia

Kashagan: The $50 Billion Oil Development That Doesn’t Work

The field is developed by the international consortium under the North Caspian Sea Production Sharing Agreement. The Agreement is made up of 7 companies consisting of Eni (16.81%), Royal Dutch Shell (16.81%), Total S.A. (16.81%), ExxonMobil (16.81%), KazMunayGas (16.81%), China National Petroleum Corporation (8.4%), Inpex (7.56%). The initial production is expected to be 90,000 barrels per day (14,000 m3/d). It should reach a production rate of 370,000 barrels per day (59,000 m3/d) Source Wikipedia

  1. Source: Government Pension Fund Global Quarterly Reort 
  2. Source: Wikipedia
  3. Source: The Wall Street Journal

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