Saudi Aramco is expected to sign deals with Italy’s Saipem and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) for packages at its $3bn expansion of its Khurais oil field.

MEED reported in September that the two contractors were favourites for the packages and contracts should be exchanged by the end of October.

Saipem will be awarded the main processing facilities at Khurais in a deal worth about $1.6bn, after seeing off its nearest rival, South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction. CCC will be awarded the seawater and Mazlij-Abu Jifan pipelines in a deal worth several hundred million dollars. The company was bidding against a number of local contractors for the scheme.

The US’ Foster Wheeler is carrying out the front-end engineering and design (feed) for the scheme.

Aramco plans to add 300,000 barrels a day (b/d) to the field’s current capacity of 1.2 million b/d. Khurais is located adjacent to the Ghawar oil field, one of the world’s largest, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. It began operations in 2009 and produces 1.2 million b/d of light Arabian crude, 320 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas and 80,000 b/d of natural gas liquids (NGLs).

The expansion at Khurais, as well as the planned increase of 250,000 b/d at the Shaybah field in the Empty Quarter, will ease production at other oil fields and will not increase the kingdom’s 12.5 million b/d capacity.

Saudi Aramco was not available for comment when contacted by MEED.