The US’ Occidental (Oxy) has named the local Gulf Petrochemical Services & Trading (GPS) as the preferred bidder for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the $80m Safah crude oil stabilisation plant in Oman.

Oxy expects to sign a letter of intent with GPS within the next few weeks, with a formal agreement being signed by early-march.

“This EPC contract has been open to bids for some time now,” says a local contractor. “Oxy changed the scope of the project last year. “

MEED reported that Oxy had asked the prequalified bidders for the contract to resubmit tenders in October 2010 (MEED 14:10:10).

The plant will be constructed at the Safah field and will be used to enhance the quality of the crude oil produced there. The scope of works includes the construction of oil handling trains, stabiliser columns, compressors, stock units, a substation, a water oil separation vessels, pipeline and associated facilities.

The project is part of Oxy’s enhanced oil recovery programme at the Safah oil field in the sultanate.

The Safah field is operated by Oxy, who also own a 45 per cent stake in the field. The Oman Oil Company (OOC) own 20 per cent stake; the UAE’s Liwa Energy own 15 per cent; the UK/Dutch Shell own 17 per cent, the US’ ExxonMobil have a 2 per cent stake and  Portugal’s Partex Oil & Gas owning the remaining 1 per cent.