Al-Khafji Joint Operations (KJO) is expected to tender the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the offshore Dorra field in two tranches.

Few details regarding the project, which could be worth anything up to $3bn, have been released, but an oil and gas source says that the first EPC contract could be released by September 2012.

“KJO is keeping very quiet about this project, but I am expecting the first contract to be for the steel jackets,” says the source. “The rest of the packages will then come in early 2013.”

Steel jackets are the vertical steel structures that go into making up the offshore platforms and are usually piled into the seabed. The rest of the packages will include all subsea pipelines as well as shore facilities.

The source also says that KJO plans to build five platforms for extracting gas from the field, but could add an extra one at a later date. The two oil platforms that were planned will now be deferred.  

The front-end engineering and design (feed) for the Dorra field has been done by Australia’s WorleyParsons.

The scope is likely to include five or six offshore platforms with interconnecting flowlines, gas gathering equipment, 200 kilometres of 30-inch pipe and 100km of subsea cables, as well as extensive onshore gas processing facilities.

The Dorra field lies in the Divided Zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, which is why it comes under the jurisdiction of KJO. The field contains an estimated 60 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The long-awaited scheme has been the subject of much speculation in regards to how the gas will be shared between Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran, who all claim partial sovereignty of the field.

KJO is jointly run by Kuwait Gulf Oil Company and Saudi Arabia’s Aramco Gulf Operations Company. The companies are subsidiaries of their respective state national oil companies, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and Saudi Aramco.