Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Company (Gasco) has pushed back the final bid deadline for a pipeline contract on the more than $10bn Shah gas development by a week, contractors hoping to bid on the deal tell MEED.

Gasco, which is tendering the deal on behalf of the joint venture partners behind the scheme, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and the US’ ConocoPhillips, has asked the firms to submit prices for the deal by 7 March rather than the original 28 February deadline.

The engineering, procurement and construction deal looks likely to be the first major contract to be awarded on the huge scheme to develop sour, or sulphur-rich, gas supplies from the southern Shah field. It covers the construction of product pipelines to carry natural gas, condensates, and natural gas liquids from the Shah field to processing and distribution facilities at Habshan in the north of the emirate.

Bidding on other construction packages was pushed back until March in late 2009 and early 2010 as Adnoc and Conoco tried to make a decision on the best way to transport sulphur stripped from the natural gas from Shah to Habshan and Ruwais. They plan to use either a railway line or technically complex liquid sulphur pipelines (MEED 18:1:2010).

A decision was due to have been made by the end of February but sources close to the project say the partners have given no indication of their plans to date.