The invitees include Paris-based Technip, Canada’s SNC Lavalin, South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company, Snamprogetti and Techint, both Italy-based, Chiyoda Corporation and JGC Corporation, both of Japan, and Foster Wheeler, Bechtel, ABB Lummus Global and Stone & Webster, part of the Shaw Group, all of the US. However, not all are expected to price the estimated $1,000 million-1,200 million contract.

The CPF package calls for the construction of a grassroots gas-oil separation plant (GOSP), gas gathering, compression and reinjection facilities, besides wet crude and produced water handling facilities, in-field pipelines, non-electric utility and process automation control systems. The front-end engineering and design (FEED) package has been prepared by a group of the US’ Jacobs Engineering, Saudi Consulting Services andSNC Lavalin.

Bids are due to be submitted in two phases. Under phase 1, contractors will submit a lump-sum price for the overall detailed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) support services. For the second phase, starting at 50-60 per cent completion of the detailed design, Aramco will negotiate with the successful bidder to convert the material and construction element to a fixed lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) price. A contract award is due by late February, with the new facilities due to be commissioned in August 2008.

Two other main packages are to be tendered on the estimated $3,000 million Shaybah project. Package 2 will include the construction of a grassroots intermediate pumping station (IPS), covering the installation of crude oil-driven pumps, flare systems and offsites. The last package will include co-generation facilities. Tenders for the two remaining packages are due to be issued imminently.

The Shaybah field, located in the Empty Quarter close to the UAE border, is estimated to have reserves of 14,300 million barrels of Extra Light crude and 25 trillion cubic feet of associated gas. Production from the field started in 1998, after Bechtel completed work on the main processing facility. It included 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.

The project, which is aimed at increasing the field’s output by at least 250,000 barrels a day (b/d) to about 800,000 b/d of extra Light Arabiancrude, 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, and the upcoming Nuayyim field development (MEED 19:8:05).