China’s Sinopec will approach contractors to prequalify for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bid phase of Iran’s Yadavaran oil field project by the end of December.

The field is in the Khouzestan province, close to the Iraqi border.

A source close to the deal says the UK’s Petrofac completed the front-end engineering and design (Feed) phase of the development in November with Sinopec and is ready to launch the EPC bid phase by the end of December.

An EPC award is expected by the third quarter of 2010 and work is expected to be completed by late 2016. Sinopec expects the first phase of the deal to increase oil production to 80,000 barrels a day.

Sinopec signed an agreement with the state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to develop the oil field on 9 December 2007. Sinopec owns 51 per cent of the development, NIOC 20 per cent and India’s ONGC Videsh owns 29 per cent.

The Yadavaran field has oil reserves of 18.3 billion barrels, of which about 3.2 billion barrels are recoverable. Meanwhile the gas reserves are 12.5 trillion cubic feet, with 2.7 trillion recoverable.