The scheme is part of its plans to increase crude production capacity from the offshore lower Zakum field by 100,000 barrels a day (b/d) to 425,000 b/d.

At least six local and international contractors are believed to have been prequalified for the estimated $150m contract. They include India’s Larsen & Toubro, Jebel Ali-based J Ray McDermott (Middle East), Abu Dhabi-based National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC), UAE-based Petrofac, the local Gulf Piping and the UK’s SLP Engineering.

The project calls for topside modification of the ZCSC, including the upgrade and recomissioning of a converged services platform, five separators to handle 300,000 b/d, mechanical and electrical services, water injection platforms, and staff accomodation (MEED 13:4:07).

The demothballing scheme was initiated four years ago, with Paris-based Technip carrying out front-end engineering and design. However, it was judged to have been financially unviable at the time.

Rising oil prices and a decision by the government to increase production capacity at lower Zakum led to the project being reactivated last year.