The UK’s BG is planning a major development programme at its oil and gas concession in Oman, according to contractors working in the sultanate.

Prequalification for three major construction deals closed on 14 February. Formal invitations to bid on the projects are expected to be released in March or April.

The first engineering, procurement and construction contracts cover site preparation and construction work at 350 locations at BG’s Block 60 concession in the west of the country.

The remaining contracts are for flowlines and pipelines across the 1,500-square-kilometre permit.

The deals are part of a major development under which BG plans to set up drilling and production facilities at all 350 sites in order to produce an undisclosed volume of gas, with commercial production scheduled to start in 2013.

“This is a huge project,” says one contractor in talks with the company. “They would be setting up seven sites a month for three years in order to meet their schedule.”

BG won the exploration and production-sharing agreement with the country’s Energy Ministry to develop the Block 60 concession in 2006, and the company started drilling tests for gas in December 2007.

After discovering gas and condensates at the concession in 2008 and 2009, the company decided to start work on a programme to develop commercial production.