The estimated $500 million project is the second major development to go ahead in the West Delta Deep Marine block, held by BG Groupof the UK and Edison Internationalof Italy. The investment plan for the field has been drawn up by the two foreign equity holders in partnership with Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC)and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas).

The documents have been prepared by a US team of Bechteland Intec Engineering. The field is planned to deliver some 700 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas to the Idku liquefied natural gas (LNG) complex (see page 8).

Companies invited to bid are understood to include the French/Norwegian Stolt Offshore, Paris-based Technip-Coflexip, Saipemof Italy and J Ray McDermottof the US. Local firms Engineering for the Petroleum & Process Industries (Enppi)and Petrojetare expected to play important roles.

Stolt is working on the main offshore elements of the development of the Scarab/Saffron field – southwest of Simian/Sienna – 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 metes for the earlier scheme, and the step-out will be longer, at 105 kilometres compared with 90 kilometres.