The Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti joint venture Khafji Joint Operations has delayed the deadline for two major contracts to upgrade its production facilities in the Divided Zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait by a month.

The company, which is jointly owned by state oil and gas firms Kuwait Gulf Oil Company and Aramco Gulf Operations Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, has postponed the final submission of bids from 8 February to 8 March (MEED 29:12:09).

The date was postponed after contractors asked for more time to prepare their proposals, according to a source close to the company. It is the third time Khafji Joint Operations has had to delay the bid deadline from the original date of 28 September 2009.

The first engineering, procurement and construction deal covers the offshore element of the project, at the Al-Khafji field. The contract involves the installation of new power cables, storage tanks, well facilities, and associated infrastructure.

The second deal covers the construction of a new onshore water treatment plant.

Both schemes are part of Khafji Joint Operations’ plans to boost overall oil production in the Divided Zone from an estimated 550,000 barrels-a-day (b/d) currently to 900,000 b/d by 2030.

The company also plans to release a formal invitation to bid on a five-year project management consultancy deal to oversee all of its major infrastructure projects by the end of March.

One source close to the project says three contractors are particularly keen to bid on this deal: Australia’s WorleyParsons, the US’ Foster Wheeler and the UK’s Amec.