Algerian state energy company Sonatrach has awarded UK oil and gas contractor Petrofac a $600m contract for the EPC1 contract on the Tinhert gas field development project in the North African country.

Petrofac says it has received the letter of award for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deal from Sonatrach, although the formal agreement signing is set to take place in September.

As part of EPC1, Petrofac will provide a new inlet separation and compression centre.

Under the terms of the 36-month contract, the scope of work includes a pipeline network approximately 400 kilometres long, connecting 36 wells, along with the commissioning, start-up and performance testing of facilities.

The Tinhert gas field – located in Ohanet, around 1,500km southeast of the capital Algiers – produces about 5 million cubic metres a day (cm/d) of gas.

Sonatrach is aiming to boost output from the field to 20 million cm/d by 2020, the main goal of the EPC works.

Algeria’s total gas output is estimated to be about 100 billion cubic metres a year, of which 55 billion is exported.

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