Saudi Aramco may change scope for offshore engineering contract

12 February 2014

The Maintain Potential Programme could be broadened to include at least two engineering consultancies

Saudi Aramco is still evaluating the prequalification documents from international engineering companies for its engineering services contract that focuses on offshore operations.

Australia’s WorleyParsons is the current holder of the Maintain Potential Programme (MPP) contract and has employed 350 dedicated staff on the scheme since 2003. It was awarded a two-year extension in 2013 that will expire in 2015.

Oil and gas sources in the kingdom indicate that the new MPP contract is going to be much broader in scope and is likely to involve more than one company.

Aramco is considering a new strategy for MPP that would involve two engineering companies sharing a broader project management consultancy (PMC) contract. The reason behind this is to give the state-owned oil major more flexibility and have faster response times to problem solving.  

The companies looking to be prequalified for the MPP include:

  • Amec (UK)
  • Fluor (US)
  • Foster Wheeler (US)
  • Jacobs Engineering  (US)
  • KBR (US)
  • Mustang Engineering (US)
  • SNC Lavalin (Canada)
  • WorleyParsons (Australia)

As well as the PMC, Aramco is considering plans to award several other contracts under the MPP umbrella that would focus on several key sectors associated with offshore operations. These will include:

  • Human resources
  • Construction management
  • Fabrication and shipyard facilities
  • Installation of vessels
  • Hook up and pre-commissioning facilities
  • Material procurement and handling

The MPP has traditionally been one of the largest engineering services contracts to be awarded in the kingdom and the potential new strategy indicates that the new scope would be even more expansive and include several more companies. This is why Aramco is expected to take its time during the prequalification process.

Aramco has extensive offshore operations on its Gulf coast including Safaniya, the world’s largest offshore oil field as well as several large non-associated gas fields. Many of the Gulf fields are mature and extremely likely to require extensive rehabilitations over the next decade to maintain production.

The oil major is also carrying out seismic surveys on its Red Sea coast although any potential production is still expected to be several years away.

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