Libya’s Mellitah Oil & Gas is reviewing prospective bidders’ applications to participate in a tender to design new production facilities at its offshore Bahr Essalam gas field.

Engineering firms handed in their prequalification documents for the front end engineering and design (FEED) contract on 29 July and expect to be told if they have been accepted in late September. Bid documents are set to be sent out early in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The state oil and gas developer already produces around 20 million cubic feet of sour, or sulphur-rich, gas from the field, which is part of its wider Western Libyan Gas Project, a 50:50 joint venture development with Italy’s Eni.

The partners are in the process of drilling a series of new wells in the eastern area of the field. They plan to have 10 wells ready for production by the end of 2011 in addition to the 26 wells already in use.

They want to use the existing offshore Sabratha gas platform to gather the gas and distribute it to their coastal Mellitah and Wafa gas processing and compression station before exporting it to Italy via the 520 kilometre Greenstream pipeline.

The winning FEED bidder will design new “Christmas trees” – units which connect producing wells to pipeline manifolds and regulate pressure, the manifolds themselves, pipelines, control systems and modifications to expand the Sabratha platform.