At least five international engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies have submitted technical proposals for an estimated $200m deal to upgrade oil facilities in the Divided zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

According to sources close to the project, bids were submitted at the beginning of November for the upgrade of the main gathering centre at the Wafra field.

Bidders include Italy’s Saipem, the UK’s Petrofac and Japan’s JGC. South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction and Samsung Engineering also submitted bids.

The winning firm will upgrade the gathering centre by the end of 2015.

The field is operated by Wafra Joint Operations (WJO), which is a joint venture of KGOC a subsidiary of state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC)and Saudi Arabian Chevron.

KGOC hopes to increase its Divided Zone oil production capacity to 350,000 barrels a day (b/d) by 2015, along with almost 400 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of non-associated gas by 2020.