Aramco to invite bids for $10b Manifa oilfield

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Aramco to invite bids for $10b Manifa oilfield
Associated Press Published: July 31, 2007, 23:12

Dubai: Saudi oil company Aramco is expected to invite companies in August to help develop Manifa oilfield, with a potential production of 900,000 barrels of oil a day, sources familiar with the company’s plans said earlier this week.

Aramco, the world’s largest oil supplier, plans to invite prequalified companies to bid for an estimated $3 billion (two billion euros) worth of contracts on the company’s largest-ever offshore project.

The estimated $10-billion (seven billion euros) Manifa development programme aims to add 900,000 barrels a day of heavy crude, 120 million cubic feet a day of gas and 50,000 barrels a day of condensate to Aramco’s production by mid-2011.

Manifa’s heavy crude will be exported from Aramco’s Al Juaymah and Ras Tanura terminals in eastern Saudi Arabia. The gas and the condensate will be processed at the Khursaniyah gas plant.

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The project also includes construction of four pipe-lines, a water supply system and oils and gas processing facilities.

The tender documents for the project were originally due to be released in June or July but have been delayed without explanation, sources familiar with the Aramco’s tender told Dow Jones Newswires.

Companies including Bechtel Group, Fluor Corp, JGC Corp and Technip SA in late May submitted prequalification documents to Saudi state-owned company. They are still waiting for final to bid, sources said.

In February, Aramco awarded an estimated $1 billion (700 million euros) contract to Belgium contractor Jan De Nul for the Manifa project’s offshore portion, covering dredging works in the Arabian Gulf.

Middle East oil producers are spending income generated from four years of high oil prices on expanding and upgrading their crude production capacity to meet rising global demand, particularly from fast-growing Asian economies.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest oil exporter. The kingdom is working to raise current output of almost 11 million barrels a day to 12,5 million barrels a day by 2009.