Contractors priced the package in two phases. Under phase 1, contractors offered a lump-sum price for the overall detailed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) support services. For the second phase, starting at 50-60 per cent completion of the detailed design, Aramco aims to negotiate with the successful bidder to convert the material and construction element to a fixed lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) price. A contract award is due by early summer, with the new facilities due to be commissioned in the third quarter of 2008. Bidders for the second package include Paris- based Technip and Canada’s SNC Lavalin. The estimated $500 million EPC contract involves the construction of a grassroots intermediate pumping station (IPS), the installation of crude oil-driven pumps, flare systems and offsites. A team of the US’ Jacobs Engineering, Saudi Consulting Services (SaudConsult) and SNC Lavalin is the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contractor for both packages. The local SA Kentz is carrying out an estimated $40 million contract to supply and install two high-pressure gas compressors with capacity of 210 million cubic feet a day (cf/d). The contract is part of Aramco’s plan to increase the volume of gas to be injected at Shaybah to 830 million cf/d.

The Shaybah field, located in the Empty Quarter close to the UAE border, is estimated to have reserves of 14,300 million barrels of crude and 25 trillion cubic feet of associated gas.