A tender is due to be issued later this year for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to fabricate the platform. Estimated to be worth $45 million, it will include the supply and installation of a subsea pipeline, power cables and related facilities. The platform will be installed at water depths of 85-90 metres. The proposed facilities will take about 18 months to be installed. The successful FEED contractor will also provide project management consultancy (PMC) services for the EPC phase of the project.

The next stage in the project implementation will be the drilling of an exploratory well by Novus and its partners in Bukha – South Korea’s LG International, Canada’s Heritage Oil Corporationand the government of Oman – to prove probable reserves estimated at 315,000 million cubic feet of gas and 38 million barrels of condensate. At present, the Bukha field produces 39.5 million cubic feet a day of gas and 1,775 barrels a day of condensate.

Earlier this year, Ras al-Khaimah Gas Commission (Rakgas)signed a heads of agreement with Novus Oman for the purchase of natural gas from the field. The planned unmanned platform will be connected to the existing facility at Bukha, from where the gas will be transported to the onshore Rakgas plant for processing. The West Bukha gas will be allocated for use by the cement industry in Ras al-Khaimah.