Saudi Aramco will release formal invitations to bid on at least two of the main construction packages on its $3bn-plus Wasit gas development in early July.

Firms had expected the state-energy giant to release the invitations for the offshore engineering, procucrement and construction (EPC) packages on the scheme on 15 June, but the company pushed back the date without giving an explanation. It will now be sent out in the first or second week of July, contractors in talks with Aramco say.

Saudi Arabia gas production 2004-2010
Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Production (billion cubic feet a day) 6.3 6.9 7.1 7.2 7.5 8.7
Source: BP, Saudi Aramco

Under the estimated $3bn Wasit scheme, Aramco wants to produce 2.5 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) of sulphur-rich gas from the offshore Arabiyah and Hasbah fields before transporting it to a central processing facility at Wasit. It is tendering three major EPC contracts on the scheme.

The first EPC contract on this project covers the construction of the main onshore gas processing facilities. These include four 1,200 tonne a day (t/d) sulphur recovery units to strip the sulphur out of the gas and a central gas processing plant, which will be able to handle up to 1.7 billion cf/d of gas.

The second project covers the construction of seven offshore wellhead production platforms at the Hasbah field, which can produce up to 1.3 billion cf/d of gas from the field, tied in to central distribution facilities.

In turn, the second contract covers six wellhead platforms at the Arabiyah field, again tied in to central distribution facilities, capable of producing 1.2 billion cf/d. It also includes six 12-inch flowlines, a 150km pipeline linking the facilities with Wasit, a 150km pipeline between Arabiyah and Wasit, and a 91km submarine power cable.

Technical and commercial bids for a site preparation contract on the scheme are due in on 26 June (MEED 10:6:10).