State energy giant Saudi Aramco has set a June bid deadline for the estimated $500m contract to prepare the site for its Wasit gas development.

The company invited around 14 contractors to bid on the contract in May, and has asked bidders to hand in technical and commercial proposals by 26 June. The deal is scheduled to be awarded in July.

It covers surveys on the 4 square kilometre site, followed by land clearance and levelling works, and the construction of 25 kilometres of asphalt roads along with 12km of fences. It also covers the construction of an evaporation pond and a series of wells.

Firms prequalified to bid on the deal, all local, include:

  • The local affiliate of China Harbour Engineering Company
  • Nasir Hassa & Brothers
  • Al-Shalawat
  • Al-Yamama Group
  • Al-Oasis Contracting Company
  • Nesma & Partners Construcion
  • Abdullah AM Khodari Sons Company
  • Al-Ajinah Group
  • Mohammad al-Mojil Group

Aramco held job explanation meetings with contractors on 31 May, and held a preliminary site visit on 1 June. It wants the winning bidder to complete the job by August 2011.

Under the estimated $3bn Wasit scheme, Aramco wants to produce 2.5 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) of sulphur-rich gas from the offshore Arabiyah and Hasbah fields before transporting it to a central processing facility at Wasit. It is tendering another three major engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts on the scheme.

The first EPC contract on this project covers the construction of the main gas processing facilities. These include four 1,200 tonne a day (t/d) sulphur recovery units to strip the sulphur out of the gas and a central gas processing plant, which will be able to handle up to 1.7 billion cf/d of gas.

The second project covers the construction of seven offshore wellhead production platforms at the Hasbah field, which can produce up to 1.3 billion cf/d of gas from the field, tied in to central distribution facilities.

In turn, the second contract covers six wellhead platforms at the Arabiyah field, again tied in to central distribution facilities, capable of producing 1.2 billion cf/d. It also includes six 12-inch flowlines, a 150km pipeline linking the facilities with Wasit, a 150km pipeline between Arabiyah and Wasit, and a 91km submarine power cable.

Aramco has told contractors bidding on the latter two schemes that they can submit individual bids for each contracts along with a combined price for both EPC deals.

The state energy firm plans to issue formal tender documents for all three projects on 15 June, and has set a tentative September deadline for technical and commercial bids. It wants to award these contracts by the end of December.