Saudi Aramco has awarded a front-end engineering and design (Feed), and project management services deal to Canada’s SNC Lavalin for a gas development programme in the Eastern Province.

The Wasit gas development programme will produce and process up to 2.5 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) of sour gas from the offshore Arabiyah and Hisbah fields.

SNC was the frontrunner to win the award after Aramco received bids in August (MEED 18:9:09).

The Canadian firm says the five-year contract will start on 1 October.

Contractors expect KBR, a US company, to win a similar combined contract covering a new gas processing plant at Shaybah in the Rub al-Khali (Empty Quarter).

Other bidders for the Arabiyah and Shaybah contracts included Foster Wheeler, Fluor Corporation and Jacobs Engineering, all of the US, Australia’s WorleyParsons and France’s Technip.