Three companies submitted technical bids in early September for the estimated $150 million contract to install water injection facilities on the Zarzaitine oil field in the Illizi basin.

The 24-month engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract calls for a water treatment unit with capacity of 11,000 cubic metres a day

(cm/d), a 25,000-cm/d water injection unit, and the revamping of the crude storage and export system (MEED 25:8:06).

The bidders are the Milan office of Europes ABB, UAE-based Petrofac International and Germanys MAN Ferrostaal. Commercial bids are expected by the end of the year.

Bids are due by 25 September for a second $150 million

EPC contract to revamp existing gas facilities. Prospective bidders include ABB, Petrofac,

MAN, Frances Entrepose Consulting, Saipem of Italy and Japans Mitsubishi Corporation. Sources close to the project say that the bid deadline is likely to be delayed until November.

Chinas Sinopec in October 2002 signed a 20-year agreement with state energy company Sonatrach to rehabilitate the oil field, near Hassi Messaoud. The $525 million programme will increase the oil recovery rate on the field to 50 per cent from 40 per cent.