The front-end engineering and design (FEED) work for the facilities package, which is the main element of the project to increase gas production from the central Oman gas fields, was completed in December by Snamprogetti. The Italian firm has also undertaken the FEED, completed in March, for the project’s pipeline and midway booster compressor station packages.

The scope of work entails adding a second gas-processing train to the existing facilities at Saih Rawl to increase processing capacity at the plant by 20 million cubic metres a day (cm/d) to 60 million cm/d. This is expected to meet rising demand that is due to come from Oman LNGat Sur and the various industrial projects that are at an advanced stage of implementation in Sohar. PDO plans to award the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract by the end of August. First gas is due by December 2004.

The second element of the project is for the construction of a 48-inch-diameter pipeline that will tie into the existing gas export pipeline linking Saih Nihayda with Sur. Seven groups have prequalified. They are Italy’s Saipem, with Snamprogetti and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC); India’s Dodsal; TOCO; Daelim; GPS; Galfar; and SNC Lavalin, with the local Al-Hassan Engineering. PDO, which has already started procuring pipeline, plans to issue the invitation to bid (ITB) for the engineering and construction contract in the second half of the year.

The final package is for the construction of a midway gas booster station that will forward gas to the liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant at Sur. Six companies and consortia have prequalified for the EPC contract. They are Saipem, with CCC and Snamprogetti; Daelim; SNC Lavalin, with Al-Hassan; Japan’s JGC Corporation; Petrofac International; and the local Bahwan Engineering Company. However, the decision to move ahead with the booster station package is contingent on Oman LNG first receiving the go-ahead for a third-train expansion. The ITB documents will be prepared for release in May pending a decision on the scheme in Sur. This will allow for a remaining lead-in time of 36 months from the issue of the ITB.