Iraq’s Oil Ministry has invited international companies to bid for the development of the Akkaz natural gas field, which has estimated reserves of more than 2.15 trillion cubic feet, the ministry said on its Web site.
The ministry said the aim of the project is to export gas from the field, which is in the western province of Anbar near the Syrian border.
The ministry said the tender document already includes a basic design for the project, and asked companies to submit a detailed design which would include procurement of all equipment and required materials. The tender document can be obtained from the Ministry’s Oil Projects Company, or SCOP, for a non-refundable amount of $500, it added.
“The project includes metering stations, fuel gas conditioning, and gas turbines for generation, scraper traps, valve stations, oily water treatment and drain and all other necessary utilities such as control, electrical, fire detection and protection,” the tender announcement said.
The ministry set the closing date for receiving bids at 0900 GMT of April 24.
An Iraqi oil expert who is close to the Iraqi oil ministry said the winning company will provide plans and supplies for the project, but probably not the labor.
“Engineering construction of the project would be carried out by Iraqis as foreign companies wouldn’t be able to send their teams to Iraq because of the security situation,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.
The head of the Oil Projects Company, Falah al-Khawja, refused to comment on the tender.
The announcement said bidding companies need not worry about pipelines because the lines have already been purchased by SCOP.
Iraqi oil officials said the field could produce up to 50 million cubic feet a day as a first stage, which could be increased to 500 million cubic feet a day at later stages. Some officials estimated its reserves at as much as 7 trillion cubic feet.
Before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of the country, the Iraqis had drilled five wells at the field and purchased a pipeline to take the gas to Syria. But the project was abandoned when the war began. Iraq wants to link the field with Turkey and European countries via Syria.
Iraq is currently negotiating with four major oil companies to increase production by 500,000 barrels a day in five producing oil fields. Iraq is currently producing around 2.4 million barrels a day.
The negotiations are being carried out in Amman with Royal Dutch Shell PLC, BP PLC, ExxonMobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. for two-year technical support agreements. These companies are required to submit detailed designs to increase production in five fields – Kirkuk in the north, and West Qurna phase one, Missan, Rumaila and Zubair in the south. They would also supply equipment.
Baghdad also is planning to issue the first round of tenders to develop “super-giant” oil fields during the second quarter of this year, for which 115 oil companies filed their registration documentations for qualification.