Zakum Development Company  (Zadco) has tasked engineering firm Foster Wheeler with undertaking an availability and reliability study on expanding the oil processing facilities on Zirku island in Abu Dhabi.

The study will assess the options available, and lead into a masterplan for the development of facilities over the next 20 years.

Foster Wheeler will then prepare the basis of design and the scope of work for the next phase of the project.

Processing facilities on Zirku will need to keep up with the expansion of production capacity planned for the Upper Zakum fields surrounding the island to 750,000 barrels a day (b/d) by 2015, from 500,000 b/d.

Zadco is preparing to award to engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages for the development of the Upper Zakum field, which includes both onshore and offshore work. The company issued an invitation to tender for the first package on 27 February.

According to sources, the first package will comprise mainly of offshore work. The second EPC package is still in the prequalification stage, and will consist mainly of onshore work.