The scope of works for the pipelines covers the installation of 87 kilometres of 16-inch-diameter and 60 kilometres of 12-inch-diameter gas line, to tie the Safaa field into the network of Oman Gas Company (OGC)via the Sohar-Fahud gas line. The main production and processing facilities will have capacity to handle between 120 million-150 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas. Australia’s Worleyhas completed the front-end engineering and design (FEED) studies for the scheme.

Safaa produces 32,000-42,000 barrels a day of oil and has sufficient estimated reserves to maintain production of 120 million cf/d of gas for five years. The invitation to prequalify follows the signing in November of a heads of agreement between Occidental and the Ministry of Oil & Gas for the supply of gas, which will augment volumes earmarked for export to the UAE. Oman Oil Company– a wholly owned government company – signed in July a memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi-based Dolphin Energyfor the sale of 120 million cf/d of gas over a 42-60-month period. The gas will be used as feedstock for the Fujairah power and desalination plant until deliveries of Qatari gas from the North field begin in 2006/07 (MEED 19:7:02).

The Omani gas will be supplied to the Dolphin network via a proposed 45-kilometre branch line running from Wadi Saa, near Buraimi, to Al-Ain, where it will be fed into the main Fujairah gas line being built by India’s Dodsal. The Indian contractor is understood to be in negotiations with OGC to build the export pipeline on the Omani side of the border.