Saudi Aramco will take technical and price offers by year end for the $1bn phase two upgrade of the 1.5mn b/d Safaniyah oilfield to maintain its capacity. It is part of the $35bn that Saudi Aramco CEO Khalid al-Falih recently said the firm will spend in the next five years to stabilize capacity, which is about 12.5mn b/d (MEES, 19 October). Saudi Arabia wants to reassure consumers that it can meet demand as Iran’s production falls due to sanctions.

Safaniyah – the world’s largest offshore oil field – has been producing since the early 1950s and has reserves of 35bn barrels. The work will be finished by end 2014 and includes a tie-in platform and auxiliary platforms. Engineering firms bidding for the work include Houston-based McDermott and Italy’s Saipem under their existing Long Term Agreement (LTA) arrangements. Separately Saudi Aramco is installing equipment including semi-submersible pumps. McDermott is finishing a previous $1bn contract for the field, which it won in 2010. (CONTINUED - 713 WORDS)