The tender for Saudi Aramco’s engineering services contract, the maintain potential programme (MPP), has not yet been released, despite earlier plans to invite bids in June or July.

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

“Earlier in the year we were expecting something to be released [by Aramco] in either June or July, but that is not looking likely now,” says an oil and gas source based in Saudi Arabia. “It is a huge contract so we are just assuming that the exact scope has not been agreed yet, but no-one seems to have been given any indication when the tender will now be released.”     

WorleyParsons has 350 personnel working on the MPP in the Eastern Province and has been the holder of the contract for the last nine years. The introduction of the general engineering services plus (GES plus) by Aramco means that the oil giant might now grant the work to several companies.

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 US’ Jacobs Engineering, Mustang Engineering and KBR have completed registration for GES plus, while the US’ Foster Wheeler and Canada’s SNC Lavalin are expected to complete registration within the next few months.

“No-one is sure exactly how much, if any, of the MPP will survive as one contract and how much will be made available to the GES plus signatories,” says the source. “I personally doubt it will survive in its current scope, however.”  

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.