Saudi Aramco has extended the bid deadline for the offshore packages on the $6bn-plus Wasit gas development after deciding that more safety features were required.

A source familiar with the project says the initial designs for the production platforms at the two offshore gas fields, Arabiyah and Hasbah, initially had insufficient hydrogen sulphide (H2S) safety features.

“Although the platforms are unmanned it does not mean that people will not still be working on them extensively,” says the source. “Without H2S monitors and automatic shut-off, valves anyone working on theplatforms would have to wear a gas mask at all times.”

The source adds that Aramco demanded the safety features to be added. This has meant that EPC contractors were given more time to amend their bids, which are now due in at the end of November.  

The firms invited to bid on the deal include:

  • China National offshore Oil Engineering Corporation (China)
  • Global Industries Limited (US)
  • Hyundai Heavy Industries (South Korea)
  • National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) (UAE)
  • Saipem (Italy)

The first offshore contract covers the construction of seven offshore wellhead production platforms at the Hasbah field, while the second is for six wellhead platforms at the Arabiyah field. Both sets of platforms are tied in to central distribution facilities.

Contractors have been given the option of bidding for one or both of the contracts individually or submitting an overarching proposal for both projects. Under the Wasit scheme, Aramco wants to produce 2.5 billion cubic feet a day of sulphur-rich gas.

Contractors submitted bids for the onshore packages in November (MEED 12:11:10)