RIYADH, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco said on Sunday it had signed a contract with Belgian dredging firm Jan De Nul Group to help develop the 900,000 barrel-per-day Manifa offshore oilfield.
"Jan De Nul will carry out dredging works in the Arabian Gulf before building several drilling islands and a 41 kilometre (25.6 mile) causeway that will provide Saudi Aramco with a direct link from the coast to shallow-water offshore man-made drilling islands," a statement sent to Reuters said.
The work is set for completion in 2009, and production of Arabian Heavy crude will begin by 2011, it said, providing no financial details of the contract.
Saudi Arabia wants to tap heavy crude to increase reserves over the next several years. The world's biggest oil producer claims about 260 billion barrels of reserves, nearly a quarter of the world's total, according to the BP Statistical Review.
Reports have said Aramco is considering using steam injection at the Wafra and Manifa fields.