POGC had originally requested bidders to submit their own financing proposals, but changed the requirement after NIOC agreed to part-finance the project, while also seeking cover from European export credit agencies (ECAs).

The project scope covers the drilling of 22 development directional wells and two vertical wells from two jack-up rigs over a period of three years. Additional works include engineering, procurement, provision of helicopter and vessel services, logging, perforating and testing.

POGC says a final deadline for submitting prequalification proposals has yet to be determined, but is likely to be set for mid-April.

POGC has shortlisted three international companies to act as its project manager on the development of phases 9-10. Local and international engineering consultants submitted prequalification documents in late January for the contract. The tender documents are due to be released in April.

A consortium comprising South Korea’s LG Engineering & Constructionand local firms Oil Industries Engineering & Constructionand Iranian Offshore Engineering & Construction Companyin September won the estimated $1,600 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to develop phases 9-10. The consortium is in talks with NIOC and its financial adviser Deutsche Bankon arranging financing for the project.

The two-phase scheme is due to come on stream in 2007 and will produce 2,000 million cubic feet a day of gas for domestic use, 80,000 barrels a day of condensate and more than 1 million tonnes a year of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for export. POGC is the NIOC subsidiary in charge of the South Pars gas field development (MEED 20:9:02).