The partners behind the development of the Bir el-Msana (BMS) oilfield in eastern Algeria have started prequalifying engineering firms to bid on a retendered $200m deal to build new central processing facilities at the field.

The company released an invitation to prequalify for the deal to international engineering contractors on 4 May, and plans to release formal bid documents for the deal in July.

Bir El Msana oil field

The partners behind the scheme, the US’ Hess Corporation, Malaysia’s Petronas and state energy firm Sonatrach, want to award the engineering, procurement and construction contract in the first quarter of 2011, a source close to the scheme tells MEED.

The contract covers the construction of new central processing facilities at the BMS field capable of handling around 25,000 barrels a day of oil, a 25-kilometre export pipeline, security infrastructure and 80 kilometres of power lines.

The winning bidder will build and commission the facilities as well as acting as project manager on the development.

The project is being overseen by the BMS Operating Company, a joint vehicle owned by the partners and run by Hess, which is acting as operator of the field.

The development is part of the wider Block 401c exploration and production licence, which is held by the same three shareholders and operated by Hess.

The processing facilities will be used to gather and produce oil and gas produced at the field. The scope of the facilities include:

  • Flowlines linking the oil wellheads with the facilities
  • Oil gathering systems
  • Crude oil storage tanks
  • A crude stabilisation plant
  • Systems to connect processing facilities with export pipelines
  • Gas processing and injection systems
  • Water treatment and injection systems

Contractors say the partners first tendered the deal in 2008 and 2009, with France’s Entrepose submitting the lowest bid of around $190m. Entrepose is likely to bid on the retendered deal, as are Switzerland-based ABB and Germany’s Man Ferrostaal.

Algiers plans on launching $120bn of oil and gas construction schemes by 2020, but progress on new projects was halted earlier in 2010 after the removal of Sonatrach chief executive Mohamed Meziane on the back of corruption charges in January. A new chief executive, Nordine Cherouati, was appointed on 3 May (MEED 5:5:10).