The package is part of the project to increase output from the Safaa field to between 120 million-130 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas. Bids are under evaluation for the main facilities expansion package, which includes the construction of a gas processing train, associated compressor units and trunklines.

TOCO, with its US joint venture partner Wilbros Contracting, is understood to be the low bidder for the main package. Other bidders include: Sharjah-based Petrofac International, with the local Galfar Engineering & Construction; Dubai-based Dodsal,with Mott MacDonaldof the UK; and Sharjah-based Maritime Industrial Services (MIS). Australia’s Worley has completed the front-end engineering and design (FEED) studies for both packages. The Safaa field produces between 40,000-45,000 barrels a day of oil and associated gas. Total project costs are estimated at about $100 million.

Occidental, which is the operator of block 9 with a 65 per cent stake, and its partner Japan’s Mitsui & Companysigned on 22 April a gas sales agreement with the government to supply up to 130 million cf/d of gas from mid-2004. The gas will assist Oman in fulfilling its agreement with Abu Dhabi-based Dolphin Energyto supply the UAE network with 135 million cf/d of gas until 2006/07 (Oman, MEED Special Report, 2:5:03, pages 25-26).