Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has awarded the local ABJ Engineering & Contracting a five-year maintenance deal for its crude oil production facilities.

ABJ emerged as the front runner for the deal with a bid of KD49.9m ($172.8m) in a 21 March bid round. The proposals beat rival bids from Heavy Engineering Industries & Shipbuilding Company (Heisco), Imco Engineering & Construction, Kharafi National, Al-Meer Technical Services Company, Al-Ghanim International and Al-Dar Engineering & Construction Company; all local and Ireland’s Kentz Overseas (MEED 24:3:10).

The firm will provide mechanical and electrical maintenance for a period of five years at KOC’s production facilities in the north of the country. A signing ceremony will be held on 7 July at KOC’s headquarters at Mina al-Ahmadi, according to a source close to the deal.

Over the past year, KOC and its sister company Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) have awarded a series of maintenance contracts in a bid to maintain the country’s ageing oil and gas infrastructure while also increasing production.

KOC hopes to increase production to 4 million barrels a day (b/d) by 2020 from the approximately 2.5 million b/d today. With an estimated 13 billion barrels in heavy crude oil reserves locked in the emirate’s northern oil fields, the area will be a critical part of meeting this goal. KOC is targeting heavy oil production of around 250,000 b/d by 2020.