The prospective bidders for the Simian/Sienna contract are understood to be the Norwegian/French Stolt Offshore, Saipemof Italy and Paris-based Technip-Coflexip. The tender documents have been prepared by a US team of Bechteland Intec Engineering.

The client is Burullus Gas Company, a joint venture between BG Groupof the UK , Edison Internationalof Italy and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation. The same three parties, plus the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company and Gaz de France, are partners in Egyptian LNG, which is in charge of the Idku complex.

The Simian/Sienna system will tie in with facilities now being installed for the Scarab/Saffron field, which will supply gas for the domestic market from early 2003. Each system will have the capacity to produce some 600 million cubic feet a day of gas.

Stolt is the main contractor on the deep-water elements of the Scarab/Saffron scheme. The company confirms that it has lodged a claim against the client relating to changes in the specifications on the $145 million contract awarded in May 2001. Stolt declined to specify the size of its claim.