Kuwait’s Central Tenders Committee (CTC) has approved the local Mechanical Engineering & Contracting Company (MECC) for a KD58.9m ($206.9m) deal to build pipelines in the north of the country.

The deal was approved by the CTC, which oversees Kuwait’s major public tenders, but is yet to be signed by KOC.

The planned pipelines are due to be completed before the end of 2014. They will connect the Jurassic wells in the North Kuwait area to manifolds and gathering centers, where the crude oil will be processed.

Kuwait hopes to develop its northern oil fields, which hold an estimated 13 billion barrels of heavy crude oil reserves, lifting production to 4 million barrels a day (b/d) by 2020. However, it will have to expand and revamp its oil transit infrastructure to cope with the increase.

KOC appointed the local Kharafi National to construct a second phase of early production facilities (EPFs) in the north of Kuwait in late 2011, but progress on the development has been slow. Kharafi National is now working with the UK’s Petrofac as a subcontractor for the $1.5bn scheme’s engineering, procurement and construction.

These new facilities are aimed at producing 100,000 b/d of wet sour crude oil and up to 510 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas.