Aligning the bids effectively neutralises the difference between their technical proposals, allowing Adco to more easily compare the merits of the commercial offers.

The estimated $3.5bn scheme is one of the largest upstream projects in the region this year. It involves the increase of oil production capacity through an extensive facilities upgrade programme that will increase total output from the fields by 60,000 barrels a day (b/d) to 445,000 b/d. This includes a 30,000 b/d increase at the Asab field, 20,000 b/d at Sahil and 10,000 b/d at Shah.

Four contracting groups submitted technical bids in late April. They are UAE-based Petrofac International, Spain’s TR with Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC), Paris-based Technip with Dubai-based Dodsal and Italy’s Snamprogetti with India’s Punj Lloyd (MEED 2:5:08).

Three commercial options will be submitted, with each group pricing the work in two split packages as well as one large contract. As technical evaluation is complete, the lump-sum engineering, procurement and construction contract is expected to be awarded soon after commercial bids are opened.

The SAS project is part of Adco’s plan to increase its production capacity by more than 450,000 b/d.

The largest element is the so-called ‘1.8 million project’, which aims to increase output by 400,000 b/d to 1.8 million b/d from the Qusahwira, Bida al-Qemzam, Ruwais and Bab onshore fields. The engineering, procurement and construction element is due to be tendered next year (MEED 24:8:07).