Oman Oil Refineries & Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) is expected to tender the first phase of its Muscat-Sohar oil pipeline soon after the Eid al-Adha festival ends, according to sources close to the bidding process.

The scheme will be built in three phases, with the first covering a pipeline connecting Muscat International airport with Orpic’s Mina al-Fahal refinery in Muscat.

There is expected to be a lull in project activity in the Middle East during Eid al-Adha, which falls on 14-15 October, and the week following the festival due to public holidays.

The scheme’s larger second phase – a 280-kilometre pipeline linking Mina al-Fahal to the company’s refinery in the northern port of Sohar – is expected to be tendered in 2014, after the first phase’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deal has been awarded.

In the third phase, Orpic will construct a strategic storage facility providing 30 days of fuel stocks.

The project is expected to meet increased demand in Oman for refined products, and reduce heavy fuel tanker traffic in Muscat by 70 per cent, according to Orpic.