At least six companies including the UAE’s Valentine Maritime, Jebel Ali-based J Ray McDermott, the UAE’s National Petroleum Construction Company, South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries, Italy’s Saipem and Global al-Rushaid, a subsidiary of the US’ Global Industries, are competing for the contract.

The contract includes laying 300 kilometres of pipelines.

Aramco will formally award some $3bn of major deals on Manifa by the end of June as part of its bid to increase production capacity to 12.5 million b/d by 2008 (MEED 6:6:08).

Italy’s Snamprogetti, Japan’s JGC Corporation and Spain’s TR have won the three main engineering, procurement and construction deals on the development following commercial evaluation by Aramco.

Although contracts have not been formally signed, the three firms are expected to announce their wins imminently.