Australia’s Worley Parsons has been selected to design oil production facilities in northern Kuwait, according to sources close to the deal.

The engineering and design firm is one of the three companies that state oil and gas producer Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) uses as an in-house project management and design contractor.

MEED reported in November 2009 that KOC planned to ask Worley Parsons, the US’ Fluor, or the UK’s Amec to design the facilities.

The decision to use Worley Parsons was made in early January, according to a KOC adviser.

The front-end engineering and design (Feed) study will result in the firm planning facilities to produce heavy crude oil from the northern Adbali, Ratqa, Raubhatain and Sabriyah fields.

Once the study is complete, KOC will tender a deal to build and operate the facilities, which will be used as early production facilities – temporary infrastructure used to test the viability of commercial oil production. A deal to build permanent facilities will be tendered at a later date.

KOC had originally planned to get an international oil company (IOC) to oversee the development of the fields, but changed its approach due to concerns over political opposition to the involvement of foreign oil majors.

IOC sources say they are still interested in an enhanced technical services agreements to oversee the development, if the terms of the deal are right.

The UK/Dutch Shell Group signed the first such service agreements on 17 February. Under the deal, Shell will help KOC develop and manage the northern Jurassic gas fields. The technically complex project will result in the two firms producing undisclosed volumes of non-associated gas from the fields.

Technical services agreements between KOC’s parent company, the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, and international energy majors including the UK’s BP, Shell and France’s Total, all expired between August 2008 and July 2009.

According to senior IOC executives, they had little hope that new deals would be concluded largely because of political opposition to their presence in the country (MEED 3:9:09).