The first contract maintenance of potential facilities covers the engineering, detailed design and fabrication of two drilling support structures in Zuluf and four wellhead production platforms at the Safaniya central production facilities and Zuluf. The facilities are planned to be installed in stages between December 2006 and December 2007. The contract also includes the installation of a new tie platform Safaniya TP 18 and associated flowlines to connect the planned new platforms, a 24-inch-diameter trunkline and a 42-inch trunkline to the Safaniya onshore gas-oil separation plant (GOSP) 1.

The second contract calls for the supply and installation of a 30-inch, 22-kilometre gas pipeline from the Abu Ali island to an onshore site near Khursaniyah. The gas pipeline is planned to be completed by May 2007. It will deliver 220 million cubic feet a day of dry gas to serve the Khursaniyah gas plant.

More offshore work is planned by Aramco. Technical and commercial bids are due to be submitted by the extended deadline of 15 April for the supply and installation contract covering more than 15 platforms and decks at Safaniya, Zuluf, Berri and Marjan. The contract also includes in-field pipelines, power cables and related works.

About seven groups of local and international fabricators are prequalified to price the estimated $500 million LSTK contract. However, not all are expected to bid.

Aramco is aiming at increasing production capacity from the four offshore fields by 450,000 barrels a day by the third quarter of 2008.