Saudi Aramco is still planning to tender the engineering services contract, the maintain potential programme (MPP), in late 2012 despite it being delayed for the past five months.

The MPP covers the maintenance schedules for all of Aramco’s offshore facilities and is currently held by Australia’s WorleyParsons.

The Australian company has 350 personnel working on the MPP in the Eastern Province and has been the holder of the contract for the last nine years. MEED reported in May that WorleyParsons would have been open to another two-year extension, but this is an extremely unlikely scenario.

“There have been some delays while Aramco works out exactly what it wants the MPP contract to look like,” says a Middle East-based engineering source. “It is looking like it will be a standalone deal and not be attached to the general engineering services plus (GES-plus) contract. Aramco wants to keep it separate and a tender should go out in November or December.”

GES-plus signatories

  • KBR (US)
  • Jacobs Engineering (US)
  • Foster Wheeler (US)
  • Mustang (US)
  • SNC Lavalin (Canada)

Source: MEED

The GES-plus contract has been designed by Aramco to give Saudis engineering and project management consultancy experience by keeping the work in the kingdom. Five international companies have established joint ventures with local engineering consultancies and will work on major projects for Aramco in-country.

The current signatories are the US’ KBR, Jacobs Engineering, Foster Wheeler and Mustang Engineering as well as Canada’s SNC Lavalin.

The initial GES-plus contract contained a guarantee of at least a million man-hours a year, but sources in Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas industry have indicated that 5 million hours a year may be a difficult target to maintain in the long-term.  

WorleyParsons is not a GES-plus signatory, but was on the initial shortlist of seven companies alongside France’s Technip.

Since 2003, the work WorleyParsons has delivered includes 40 new platforms, 85 platform upgrades, 165km of pipelines, 100km of submarine power cables, five cranes and more than 300 well hook-ups.

Aramco also has a long-term agreement with the US’ McDermott and Italy’s Saipem which covers engineering, procurement and construction work for its offshore operations.