Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco ) has tendered a new construction deal worth up to $2bn to build oil production facilities as part of plans to boost the emirate’s offshore oil production capacity.

It sent out bid documents for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on 6 July and has set a 21 September deadline for technical and commercial proposals.

The contract covers the construction of early production facilities at two oil fields the company is developing, Umm al-Lulu and Nasr.

Contractors had expected the projects to be tendered separately, but say that Adma-Opco decided to combine them in the hope of getting a better price and streamlining the tender process.

Firms prequalified to bid on the contract include:

  • Hyundai Heavy Industries (South Korea)
  • J Ray McDermott (US)
  • National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) (UAE)
  • Saipem (Italy)
  • Technip (France)

The firms are likely to ask Adma-Opco for more time to prepare their proposals due to the number of offshore oil and gas construction contracts either planned or being tendered in the emirate, sources with knowledge of the scheme say. The offshore operator wants to award the contract in early 2011.

Adma-Opco has also prequalified engineering firms to bid on a project management consultancy (PMC) contract to oversee the construction of the facilities, although it is yet to issue a formal request for proposals (RFP) or set a timeline for bidding on the project.

The company had originally planned to develop the fields using the same model of building basic production facilities to test the viability of producing relatively small volumes of oil at the fields before building permanent facilities with much higher production capacities.

Both of the early production facilities will have a capacity of 22,000 barrels a day (b/d) of oil, sources close to the scheme say. It ultimately wants to produce 100,000 b/d from Umm al-Lulu and 65,000 b/d from Nasr.

Adma also plans to develop the Saath al-Raazboot (Sarb) field using the same contracting model. It wants to produce up to 100,000 barrels a day from the field. The Sarb facilities are being designed by the US’ Fluor, which is also the front end engineering and design contractor (FEED) for the permanent facilities for the Umm al-Lulu field.

Adma is yet to tender a FEED contract for the second stage of facilities at Nasr. Technip designed the early production units for the field.

The project is part of a programme being led by the two offshore operators in the emirate, Adma-Opco and Zakum Development Company (Zadco) to boost Abu Dhabi’s offshore production capacity from 1.1 million b/d currently to 1.75 million b/d by 2020.

The two companies are expected to award deals worth up to $25bn by 2015 in order to meet their targets.