Abu Dhabi oil and gas developer Zakum Development Company (Zadco) has started assessing the ability of international engineering contractors to bid on its planned development of the offshore Satah field.

The prequalification process for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deal started in late 2009, and all necessary documentation has now been passed to Zadco, say engineering executives in talks over the deal.

Zadco has asked contractors to give presentations detailing their experience in onshore and offshore projects by 25 February, and should have drawn up a shortlist of contractors to bid on the deal by the end of March.

Contractors expect the firm, a subsidiary of state energy giant Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), to release tender documents for the deal and set commercial and technical bid deadlines in the second quarter of 2010. A final award of the EPC deal should be made by October.

The deal comprises both offshore and onshore engineering, and construction work. The winning bidder will have to build a series of underwater pipelines and upgrade existing offshore platforms in the area already controlled by Zadco.

The winner will also have to build new gas processing facilities at Zadco’s operating base on the nearby Zirku island, including gas injection compressors and flare gas recovery facilities.

Under the development scheme, gas produced by Zadco will be injected into the Satah field to boost production to about 25,000 barrels a day (b/d) from undisclosed production levels currently. Contractors value the deal at about $500m.

The project is part of a wider scheme to boost production of the three fields Zadco operates to around 800,000 b/d by 2015. The company also wants to produce 750,000 b/d from the Upper Zakum field by 2015 and 70,000 b/d from the smaller Umm al-Dalkh reservoir.