Dana Gas is evaluating engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bids for its planned $200m-plus facilities at the offshore Zora gas field in the Gulf.

The Sharjah-based energy firm is expected to make a decision on the three EPC contracts, along with a drilling deal for two wells, before the end of April, according to a source close to the project.

The EPC deals cover the construction of an offshore wellhead facility, a 33-kilometre, 12-inch pipeline and an onshore gas processing plant, which will handle less than 60 million cubic feet a day (cf/d).

Dana Gas holds the Sharjah Western Offshore Concession covering a total area of 1,000 square km, which includes the Zora gas field. It signed signed an agreement with the governments of Sharjah and Ajman to develop the field, which is shared by the two emirates.

The company will drill horizontal wells and install an offshore platform to process the gas via a new 33km pipeline. Dana Gas hopes to begin production at the field in the first half of 2014.

Indonesian engineering group Tripatra completed the front-end engineering and design (feed) work on the project in 2012, while Australia’s WorleyParsons prepared the tender documents.

Sharjah currently produces less than 150 million cf/d of gas from the offshore Mubarak field, which is operated by Crescent Petroleum, Dana’s sister company. The UK’s Petrofac operates a gas plant at the onshore Sajaa field with a processing capacity of 600 million cf/d, but as of 2009 it was only receiving an estimated 120 million cf/d.

The development of the field will be a major boost for Sharjah’s gas production, and represents the first gas revenues for Ajman, which along with fellow northern emirates Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm al-Quwain has no upstream oil and gas production.