Aramco has adopted a mixed contracting strategy to tender the packages. Barring the Khurais central processing facilities – gas facilities package, which will be tendered on a lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) basis, all the other four remaining packages will be tendered on the converted LSTK model with a bid target price and fee.

The mega-oil development project is due for completion by December 2008 – at least six months earlier than originally planned.

All packages are due to be issued for bid by December and companies will be given about three months to submit prices. Total project costs, including drilling, are estimated at about $11,000 million.

The five packages are:

Khurais central processing facilities – gas-oil separation plants (GOSPs), which will include the construction of crude inlet facilities to process about 1.32 million barrels of wet and sour crude, four GOSPs each with capacity of 330,000 b/d and 400 million cubic feet a day (cf/d), gas compression and stabilisation facilities, pumps and main pipe racks;

Khurais central processing facilities – utilities, electrical and salt water injection system, which will cover the construction of common utilities, seawater injection facilities, booster pumps, storage tanks, cooling towers, four heat recovery units, five air compressors each with capacity of 2,000 cf/d and booster pumps;

Khurais central processing facilities – gas facilities, which will entail the construction of two processing trains to dehydrate 300 million cf/d of sour gas, a 1.8 million-barrel tank farm, four flares and two natural gas liquids (NGL) spheres capable of storing 70,000 barrels;

Southern area seawater capacity expansion facilities – Qurayyah seawater treatment plant, which will call for the construction of nine treatment modules, pumps and substations; and

Southern area seawater capacity expansion facilities – water injection plants upgrade, which will involve the installation of four water injection plants at Ain Dar, Uthmaniyah, Khurais and Hawiyah.

Separate tenders are due to be issued for more construction packages. They include site preparation; a residential and industrial camp at Khurais; downstream pipelines to transport the Khurais products; expansion of the existing east/west (E/W) NGL pipeline; and a utility upgrade at the Juaymah gas plant.

US-based Foster Wheeler, with its in-kingdom partner Sofcon, is the project management consultant (PMC) on all major elements of the programme except the seawater supply and injection facilities, which is being handled by a group of US-based Jacobs Engineering, Canada’s SNC Lavalinand Saudi Consulting Services (SaudConsult).