The UK’s Amec is understood to have been selected for one of the largest project management consultancy contracts ever tendered in Abu Dhabi.

The five-year contract covers the multi-billion-dollar Upper Zakum crude increment programme planned by Zakum Development Company (Zadco), which will increase the emirate’s offshore crude production capacity from 500,000 barrels a day (b/d) to 750,000 b/d.

According to sources close to the deal, the contract will be awarded once final approval has been granted by the Supreme Petroleum Council. The Canadian/US Veco and Australia’s WorleyParsons were the two other companies bidding for the work (MEED 7:9:07).

Known as the Zadco facilities programme management consultancy for major projects, the contract covers eight integrated projects. The separate elements include: offshore produced water facilities; the expansion of the Upper Zakum gas treatment plant; a main oil line; the east and west area development programmes; and downstream facilities.

Front-end engineering and design (FEED) has been completed for some of the elements. Engineering is due to finish by the end of the summer for the first phase of the facilities, to increase capacity to 600,000 b/d.

Engineering for phase two, which will increase capacity to 750,000 b/d, will be completed by the end of 2009 (MEED 18:5:07).

The first-phase capacity increase is due to be commissioned by the end of 2011, with the second phase to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2013.

Upper Zakum is not the only offshore field being developed in the emirate. Zadco, in which the US’ ExxonMobil Corporation took a 28 per cent stake two years ago, is also developing a crude increment programme for its Satah field.

Bids are due to be submitted soon for the pre-FEED and FEED services contract for engineering optimisation of the project, which covers reinjection of associated gas to maintain reservoir pressure at the 25,000-b/d field. The UK’s Mott MacDonald is the management consultant.

Zadco was in the process of tendering Satah’s engineering, procurement and construction element to contractors in 2007, but abruptly cancelled the scheme in the summer without giving a reason. The project was, however, reactivated soon after, albeit with an update to the FEED required (MEED 7:9:08).

Onshore consultancy work is also being tendered. Technical bids are due by 15 April for the two remaining project management components on what is known as the 1.8 million project, planned by Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (Adco).

The programme involves increasing onshore capacity from three fields by 400,000 b/d to take the total to 1.8 million b/d. The US’ Washington Group International (WGI) is the FEED contractor on the scheme (MEED 7:3:08).

Adco has also requested expressions of interest for a project management consultancy contract covering minor works and modifications of existing facilities.