State-upstream operator Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has delayed bids for three new projects, pushing back the deadlines into 2014.

Bids had been due on 22 December for two of the schemes, covering the construction of an effluent water treatment and injection plant in the north of Kuwait, and an estimated $2bn deal for the construction of three new gathering centres.

Proposals will now be submitted on 19 January.

Twelve engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms have been prequalified for both projects.

The water project aims to provide pressure support for the Sabriya and Raudhatain fields in the north of Kuwait by the end of 2017, by injecting as much as 500,000 barrels a day (b/d) of treated effluent water from four oil-gathering centres in the area.

The third deal, which covers the installation of new gas pipelines at the Burgan field in the south of Kuwait has now been pushed back to 28 January, from the original 24 December deadline.

KOC has awarded only $3.15bn-worth of upstream contracts so far in 2013, including deals for EPC projects, drilling, well services and other services. This is down about 12 per cent on its 2012 awards. Kuwait’s highest level of awards recently came in 2010, when more than $11.6bn-worth of contracts were signed.