State-upstream operator Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has pushed back the deadline for bids on an estimated $4.2bn deal to build heavy oil production facilities.

Commercial bids are now due to be submitted on 20 March, giving contractors an extra two months than the originally planned 26 January deadline.

Known as the Lower Fars heavy oil development, the scheme is one of the largest engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects planned to be executed in a single package. This covers steam injection facilities, production facilities, a support complex, tank farms and a 270,000 barrel a day (b/d) pipeline.

KOC has prequalified 19 firms to bid for the deal.

Australia’s Worley Parsons has been appointed as the project management consultant for the heavy oil deal. Spread over 1,200 square kilometres in Kuwait’s northern desert, the Lower Fars reservoir contains between 7 billion and 15 billion barrels of oil in place.