Saudi Aramco prequalifies six EPC bidders for $6bn Berri oilfield

Details of the firms are yet to be revealed, but one news report describes the job as "the largest [...] to be tendered" among Aramco's long-term partners, such as L&T

Saudi Aramco is said to have prequalified six bidders for its Berri Offshore Oilfield project [representational image].
Saudi Aramco is said to have prequalified six bidders for its Berri Offshore Oilfield project [representational image].

Saudi Aramco is said to have prequalified six bidders for the construction of the $6bn (SAR22.5bn) Berri Offshore Oilfield Increment Programme project.

Details of the six pre-qualified engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firms have not been publicised, but this May, Scottish news outlet NewsBase reported that the contract was “expected to be the largest job tendered this year among the five signatories of Aramco’s so-called long-term agreements (LTAs)”.

This group, according to the report, includes the US’s Dynamic Industries and McDermott; India’s Larsen & Toubro (L&T); Oslo-listed Subsea-7; the UAE’s National Petroleum Construction; and Italy’s Saipem.

“The state giant is currently assessing proposals from several companies applying to be added to the LTA list – partly as a response to the strains created by the current workload – but a decision is unlikely to be made in time to affect the Berri selection,” NewsBase’s report added.

READ: Aramco veteran named CEO of Saudi Arabia's $500bn Neom

According to ProTenders, Berri is an onshore and offshore field on the east coast, north of Ras Tanura, and has an output of 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 300,000bpd.

The project’s scope includes the development of the Berri offshore oilfield, located on Saudi Arabia’s east coast. As part of the scheme, 10 production deck modules (PDMs) – each weighing 1,500t – will be developed, in addition to a PDM for water injection, a tie-in platform, and 100km of subsea pipelines.

Other packages included in the project cover offshore jackets installation, gas plant expansion, gas-oil separation units, and associated facilities.

Upon its completion, the project will aid the production of an additional 250,000bpd of crude oil. Low-pressure gas produced by the facility will be sent to the Berri gas plant in Jubail.

Aramco has had a busy year amid market speculation about its highly anticipated initial public offering (IPO) and its project collaborations with global oil giants, such as the UAE’s ADNOC.

This April, it was revealed that Saudi Aramco had joined a consortium of three Indian companies to develop a $44bn (SAR165bn) refinery and petrochemical complex in India with ADNOC.

ADNOC and Saudi Aramco will co-build, own, and operate the refinery in conjunction to the Indian trio, which consists of Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation. The three of them will jointly own a 50% stake in Ratnagiri Refining and Petrochemical Company – the joint venture created for the project – while ADNOC and Saudi Aramco will share the remaining 50% portion.

Aramco’s IPO, meanwhile, is being eagerly watched by world investors, even as select international media reports speculate that the move has been scrapped. However, earlier this month, Saudi Arabia reaffirmed its commitment to the IPO, which will take place “at a time of [Aramco’s] own choosing when conditions are optimum”, energy minister Khalid al-Falih said, according to Arabian Business.

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