Companies have been given an extension until 5 October to submit bids. The original deadline was 18 August.

At least seven companies are in line for the contract, which is expected to be awarded before the end of 2008.

The scope of the project covers two flare structures and bridges, three natural gas processing platforms, up to 10 well-head platforms and a 36-inch export pipeline measuring 110 kilometres.

Offshore engineering is being carried out by the local Petrocon while the US’ Foster Wheeler is doing onshore design and management on the project.

Last month it was revealed that Aramco would increase capacity at the field by more than 50 per cent as it aims to keep pace with soaring domestic demand (MEED 11:7:08).

The offshore field, which is thought to contain more than 9 trillion cubic feet of gas, was originally slated to produce 1 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas, but this has now been raised to 1.8 billion cf/d.

The offshore Karan field is about 100km north of the world’s largest onshore oil field, Ghawar.