Oil major Saudi Aramco has awarded the US’ Jacobs Engineering the front-end engineering design (feed) contract for the Ras Tanura Refinery Clean Fuels and Aromatics Project in the Eastern Province.

The scope of works for the scheme will include carrying out feed services for the inside and outside battery limits, as well as modifications to the refinery to bring it in line with environmental regulations. 

The man hours required for the project are estimated to be close to 400,000 and Saudi Aramco is believed to want the project fast-tracked.  

Saudi refining capacity
(Thousand barrels a day)
Refinery Capacity
Ras Tanura 550
Yanbu 235
Riyadh  122
Jeddah  88
Source: Saudi Aramco

“This is a sizeable contract to win and indicates that the total value of the entire project will run into the billions of dollars,” a contracting source based in the kingdom says. “Aramco wants to move quickly on the project, so a turnaround of 6-8 months is likely.”

If the feed is executed without incident, then Saudi Aramco intends to release tenders for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages by the end of the first quarter of 2012.

“Regarding the EPC packages, this project has been under the radar a little bit because of all of the massive petrochemicals and refining schemes currently being tendered in the kingdom at the moment,” says the source. “But most EPC contractors will be interested in picking up some work on this job.”  

The deal is also the first signed by Jacobs under the general engineering services plus (GES-plus) contract. Jacobs was the first company to become fully registered under the scheme (MEED 15:7:11).

The US’ Mustang Engineering is also believed to be close to full registration and should be ready by the end of September. The other signatories are the US’ KBR and Foster Wheeler as well as Canada’s SNC Lavalin. Those three companies should also be fully registered by the end of 2011.

The GES-plus contract has been implemented by Saudi Aramco to increase the amount of detailed engineering and project management work it carries out in the kingdom.