Abu Dhabi Gas Industries (Gasco) has asked international engineering contractors to express interest in a $200m contract to modify and replace pipelines at the company’s Habshan gas production and processing facilities.

Gasco sent letters to contractors asking them to formally express interest in the deal on 25 November. The state gas producer is expected to launch a bid round in the first quarter of 2010.

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract covers modifications and the replacement of Gasco’s network of gas pipelines at Habshan. Contractors say that an exact budget value for the scheme has not been set, but they expect that the deal will be worth around $200m.

The project is a good opportunity for smaller contractors to get work in the emirate after a year of massive multi billion dollar schemes, says the business development manager at one firm hoping to bid on the scheme.

“It is a medium-sized deal, so for a mid-size contractor it’s a good chance to get a project on the books,” he says.  “The really big megaprojects have been too big for us to bid on.”

Abu Dhabi will have awarded as much as $40bn of deals to oil and gas contractors between January 2009 and the end of the first quarter of 2010.