Four international companies submitted bids in mid-September for the work, although it is understood that only three US-based companies are now in contention. They are Fluor Daniel, Bechteland Foster Wheeler. The tender covers PMS/FEED services for the new 400,000-barrel-a-day grassroots refinery to be built at Shuaiba as well as FEED services for upgrades planned at the Mina al-Ahmadi, Mina Abdullah and Shuaiba refineries. KNPC has the option to award the work to one or more companies.

The fourth refinery, approved by the government in August, will cost about $800 million. The upgrade of the existing refineries is aimed at increasing capacity and lowering sulphur content in products.