Kuwait Energy Company (KEC) plans to fast-track its development of the Siba gas field in the south of Iraq.

The privately owned company will now move directly to the construction of full gas processing facilities, dropping its original plans for a staged field development, according to a source close to the project.

KEC originally planned to begin with early production facilities (EPF), followed by a full central processing facility. The EPF would have included a gathering system and CPF with a capacity of 55 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) along with export pipelines for sales gas, liquid petroleum gas and condensates. The gathering system and CPF would then be expanded to 100 million cf/d.

KEC would not comment on the reasons behind the change in scope.

In February, KEC began prequalifying local and international engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms for three pipelines at the Siba field. This should be completed in mid-April, with tenders expected after June.

The 1.5-trillion cubic feet Siba field is operated by Kuwait Energy Iraq Limited, a subsidiary of KEC in partnership with Turkish Petroleum Overseas (TPAO) and state-owned Missan Oil Company. The consortium signed a 20-year gas development and production service contract with the Oil Ministry in late 2010 to produce 100 million cf/d of sales gas.

KEC has three interests in Iraq. It is a partner with TPAO for the development of the Mansouriya gas field in the east of the country, and also leads a consortium for the exploration, development and production of the 866-square-kilometre Block-9 area in the south.