The companies which submitted proposals for the estimated $3,000 million scheme are: the UK’s BP; the Royal Dutch/Shell Group; Norway’s Statoil; and Chevron-Sasol, a joint venture of the US’ ChevronTexaco Corporationand South Africa’s Sasol. Commercial proposals are due in mid-2006.

The successful bidder will take an unspecified equity stake in the scheme, which covers the development of oil and gas resources in the Tinhert block, located 60 kilometres north of In Amenas, and the construction and operation of a 36,000-barrel-a-day GTL plant.

Construction of all related oil and gas facilities and other field developments will be carried out over a period of five years and will be followed by a 25-year production period (MEED 30:9:05).