Abu Dhabi is assessing commercial bids for the estimated $1.5bn third-phase development of its Al-Dabbiya oil field, according to sources familiar with the project.

Project operator Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (Adco) received several bids for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on 4 September.

Bidders are thought to include:

Daewoo (South Korea);

GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea);

Petrofac (UK);

Saipem (Italy);

Tecnicas Reunidas (Spain);

Tecnimont (Italy).

According to two sources close to the bidding process, Tecnimont submitted the low bid and is therefore considered the frontrunner to win the contract.

Adco is likely to award the EPC contract after the Eid al-Adha religious holiday, which is due to fall in the first week of October. However, Adco took four months to announce the winner of its last major field development contract – the third-phase development of the Rumaitha and Shanayel fields.

The Al-Dabbiya field forms part of Adco’s North East Bab asset, which also includes Rumaitha and Shanayel.

Whereas Rumaitha and Shanayel are located onshore south of Abu Dhabi city, Al-Dabbiya lies in a shallow coastal marine area – one of the most environmentally sensitive areas of the emirate.

North East Bab has the capacity to produce about 110,000 barrels a day (b/d) – about 8 per cent of Adco’s total production – and this capacity is due to be doubled after the third-phase expansion project’s completion.

The EPC contract for the Rumaitha and Shanayel development was awarded to a joint venture of South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction and UAE-based Dodsal, MEED revealed in April. This was confirmed in an official announcement by the South Korean company on 20 May.