The first package covers the development of central processing facilities (CPF) on a lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) basis. The scope of works calls for the installation of a grassroots gas-oil separation plant (GOSP), gas gathering, compression, wet-crude handling and injection facilities and non-electric utility and process automation control systems.

The second LSTK package entails the construction of a grassroots intermediate pumping station (IPS). It also covers the installation of oil-driven pumps, standalone electric and non-electric utilities systems, process automation, communication facilities, power generation facilities and an airstrip.

The project is being fast-tracked. Under the proposed bidding schedule, invitations to bid (ITBs) for both contracts will be issued in December, with the intention of awarding and starting the work in January. The planned completion date for the CPF is August 2008, and the following December for the IPS package.

In keeping with recent practice in the kingdom, Aramco has proposed that both packages be awarded on a convertible LSTK basis, with the contracts converted from cost reimbursable to LSTK once 50-60 per cent of the detailed design is complete.

The Shaybah field, located close to the UAE border, is estimated to have reserves of 14,300 million barrels of crude and 25 trillion cubic feet of associated gas. Production from the field started in 1999. Basic infrastructure includes three GOSPs, a 620-kilometre-long main oil line and related facilities. Extra light crude from the field is transferred through the pipeline to Abqaiq for blending with Arab light crude. About 880 million cubic feet a day of gas is reinjected into the field (MEED 19:8:05).

The project is part of a major investment programme at Aramco aimed at raising oil capacity to 12.5 million b/d by 2010. The programme also involves developing the onshore Khurais oil field to produce at least 1.2 million b/d of crude (MEED 14:10:05).