A project to develop sour gas reservoirs at the offshore Hail and Ghasha fields in Abu Dhabi have been hit by delays at the pre-execution phase, according to sources familiar with the scheme.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) invited companies to bid for the front-end engineering and design (feed) contract in 2016, setting an initial bid deadline of 28 August, but the tender has now been suspended with no deadline in place.

The Hail and Ghasha scheme is planned to install 1 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) of additional gas capacity from sour gas reservoirs at the offshore fields.

Prequalified bidders for the feed tender are thought to include:

The scheme is one of three proposed megaprojects to develop sour gas reservoirs in the planning stage in Abu Dhabi – the other two being a new project at the Bab field and an extension of the existing Shah field development.

Adnoc and US-based Occidental Petroleum announced in November that they plan to expand their joint Shah sour gas production operation in the emirate by 50 per cent in the next five years. Shah phase two appears to be the most advanced of the three projects, with Amec Foster Wheeler picking up the feed contract in December 2016.

In January 2016 UK-Dutch oil major Shell pulled out of an agreement with Adnoc on the Bab sour gas development.