Kuwait’s upstream contract awards dropped to only $41m in March, a drop of almost 80 per cent compared to $240m in February.

State-upstream operator, Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) awarded 10 contracts worth only $41.4m in March, compared to more than $490m in the same period of 2011. No engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts were awarded during the month.

The largest contract, worth KD4.4m ($16m) was awarded to the local Construction Management & Building Company for the provision of maintenance services.

Two contracts were awarded on 28 March for research and training. The first deal, worth $149m went to Canada’s Arcis Corporation for thin bed reflectivity study to enhance seismic data quality for the mapping of Zubair sands in the southeast of Kuwait.

The second contract went to Germany’s NDT Systems Services for $1.3m. It covers maintenance and support for Kuwait’s pipeline integrity management system.

April already promises to be a better month. On 1 April KOC awarded a KD1.5m ($5.4m) contract to the US’ Booz & Co for management consultancy services. Another nine deals are currently under evaluation, six of which could be awarded in April.

These include the provision of sucker-rod pumping services, worth more than $100m. Bids were submitted in August 2011.

There is also a deal for airborne gravity and magnetic surveys across the country. Two firms bid; Sander Geophysics and Geotech Airborne, both of Canada. Bids were opened on 11 January.

KOC awarded $204m in February, including three deals for the remediation of contaminated soil in the southeast of the country.