The restrictions had brought to a halt ongoing construction work on several major projects, including:

Gathering centre (GC) 23, for which the US-owned Petrofac Internationalwas awarded in October 2000 an estimated KD 16.7 million ($55 million) contract to expand the capacity to 165,000 barrels a day (b/d) from the current 105,000 b/d (MEED 19:1:01);

Booster station (BS) 130 in the north, for which Italy’s Snamprogetti isinstalling a new gas booster station and related facilities. BS 130 is located close to the port of Umm Qasr;

BS 131 and GC 15, located at Rawdhatain, for which a team of US-based Fluor Danieland South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction was awarded in December the KD 76 million ($237 million) contract to repair the damaged facilities at the northern oil field (MEED 13:12:02).

KOC is also preparing to receive bids for two other major projects. Bids are due to be submitted on 6 April for the upgrade of GC 27, which involves the construction of a 40,000-b/d desalting unit and modifications to the light crude train. The estimated KD 5 million-7 million ($17 million-23 million) contract will take two years (MEED 7:2:03).

For the crude storage and export facilityat Ahmadi, bids are now due to be returned by 22 April. The KD 270 million ($900 million) engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract calls for the construction of an 11.4 million-barrel storage and export facility and related on- and offshore facilities (MEED 28:2:03).

As part of its efforts to move ahead with project activity, KOC has also issued letters of intent to two US firms – Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) and Fluor Daniel- for the position of project management consultant (PMC) on all its schemes for the next five years. KBR is to provide PMC services for area 1, which covers the northern oil fields, while Fluor will be responsible for area 2, the southern and western oil fields (MEED 14:3:03). At present, Parsons EngineeringCorporation of the US is providing PMC services for all KOC projects under an estimated $45 million-50 million contract awarded in late 2001. The contract is due to expire on 13 June.