Bids are due by the end of November for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract on the development of the Al-Kawther gas field, following the issue of a tender by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO)in early August (MEED 6:8:04).Companies invited to submit bids are understood to include, Canada’s SNC Lavalin, Kellogg Brown & Rootof the US and Italy’s Snamprogetti. The estimated $150 million Al-Kawther project calls for the installation of gas gathering and treatment facilities, a cathodic protection system and associated works. An engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tender is expected in the second quarter of 2005. The Al-Kawther field is estimated to contain gas reserves of about 1 trillion cubic feet. Increasing gas production is central to PDO’s plans as it copes with dwindling crude output, which fell to 703,000 barrels a day (b/d) in 2003.