UK-based Amec Foster Wheeler has been awarded the front-end engineering and design (feed) contract for a major oil and gas production expansion at Saudi Arabia’s offshore Marjan field.

The project, which was first revealed by MEED in February, is part of state oil producer Saudi Aramco’s programme to upgrade and expand production facilties across its offshore fields.

Aramco awarded Amec Foster Wheeler a five-year contract to deliver the pre-feed, feed, overall programme management and other support services for the scheme.

The project will include a 300,000 barrel-a-day gas/oil separation train, a world-scale greenfield gas processing plant, a cogeneration facility and modifications to an existing facility to add natural gas liquids fractionation capacity.

Marjan is estimated to have the capacity to produce about 500,000 b/d of crude based on current installed production facilities.

Industry sources told MEED earlier in the year that the project cost is estimated at up to $5bn.

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tenders, which will be floated further along the project’s timeline, will be available to Aramco’s Long-Term Agreement (LTA) companies, which have exclusive rights to bid on several offshore projects.

Aramco has contracted five groups under the LTA: US-based Dynamic Industries; a partnership of India’s Larsen & Toubro and Singapore’s Emas; US-based McDermott; UAE-based National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC); and Italy’s Saipem.

However, MEED understands that Aramco is looking for new contractors to join the LTA due to the high volumes of work forecast to be signed off over the coming years.