Al-Khafji Joint Operations (KJO) is delaying the release of the tenders for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the offshore Dorra field until early 2013.

The long-awaited scheme has been the subject of much speculation regarding how the gas will be shared between Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran, which all claim partial sovereignty of the field.

However, this time it is believed that the forthcoming change of management at KJO, which rotates between Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti officials every three years, is the reason for the delay.

“With the Saudi officials taking over [in early 2013] major decisions regarding the budget and schedule will be left to them to decide,” says a Saudi Arabia-based oil and gas executive. “Everyone is confident that this scheme will still go ahead because frankly, the gas is needed by both the kingdom and Kuwait.”   

KJO plans to build six platforms for extracting gas from the field, but could add an extra one at a later date. The two oil platforms that were planned will now be deferred. 

The front-end engineering and design (feed) for the Dorra field has been done by Australia’s WorleyParsons.

The scope is likely to include five or six offshore platforms with interconnecting flowlines, gas gathering equipment, 200 kilometres of 30-inch pipe and 100km of subsea cables, as well as extensive onshore gas processing facilities. The budget has been the subject of some speculation.

The Dorra field lies in the Divided Zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, which is why it comes under the jurisdiction of KJO. The field contains an estimated 60 trillion cubic feet of gas.