A US team of Bechteland Intec Engineeringis working as development studies contractor for the Simian/Sienna field that is planned to deliver some 700 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas to the Idku plant. The development plan is to be submitted in April for final approval from the government. The target for awarding the main contracts is understood to be the middle of the third quarter of 2002. BG will carry out the development project with concession partner Edison Internationalof Italy, and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC)and the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas).

The Bechtel/Intec team played a similar role on the development of the Scarab/Saffron field, which is scheduled to deliver some 565 million cf/d to the domestic grid from 2003.

The Simian/Sienna field will share the trunkline that will transport the Scarab/Saffron gas to the shore. However, the maximum water depth for Simian/Sienna will be 1,050 metres, compared with 650 metres for the earlier scheme, and the step-out will be longer, at 105 kilometres compared with 90 kilometres.

The new project is expected to attract a similar group of contractors to that which followed Scarab/Saffron. The largest order on that scheme went to the French/Norwegian Stolt Offshore, at $145 million, for the subsea construction and pipe-laying packages. Other bidders included J Ray McDermottof the US, Saipem of Italy and Paris-based Technip-Coflexip. The $56 million deep-water equipment package went to a joint venture of the Norwegian/UK Kvaerner Oilfield Productsand the UK arm of Cooper Cameronof the US. France’s Nexanswon the Eur 23 million ($20 million) umbilicals contract (MEED 8:6:01).

The Simian/Sienna gas will be used in the first train of the Idku complex. That project is being carried out by Egyptian LNG, a venture set up by BG, Edison, Egas and EGPC with offtaker Gaz de France. Bechtel is discussing the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the estimated $900 million train that will produce 3.6 million tonnes a year of LNG from 2005.

BG has estimated total proven reserves in the West Delta Deep concession at some 13 trillion cubic feet.