Aramco lets Karan offshore platforms, pipelines

Uchenna Izundu
OGJ International Editor

LONDON, Mar. 12 -- Saudi Aramco has contracted J. Ray McDermott Inc. to design and install the offshore platforms and subsea pipelines for its major Karan natural gas development, from which production is expected to start in mid-2011. The values of the contracts were not disclosed.

Aramco earlier this month awarded contracts for other aspects of field development and for the onshore Khursaniyah gas plant construction (OGJ Online, Mar. 2, 2009).

The platforms will have a production capacity of 1.8 bcf of raw sour Khuff gas, which will meet the kingdom's growing gas demand. The gas will be delivered via a 110-km subsea pipeline from the field to the Khursaniyah plant.

This is the kingdom's first offshore nonassociated gas project. It comprises four wellhead complexes, each of which has platform topsides with gas, chemical injection, and controls facilities. They also have a bridge-connected auxiliary platform, associated flare bridges, and stacks. The wellhead complexes are clustered around a tie-in platform with similar facilities. J. Ray's project includes all subsea power distribution cables, intrafield pipelines, and a 110 km trunkline to shore.

"The fabrication scope includes topsides and jackets weighing a total of 27,000 metric tons," said J. Ray.

According to reports, the company secured the project after reducing its bid by more than $100 million following the drop in oil prices, commodities, and weak global economic outlook.

This contract builds on earlier deals that Saudi Aramco announced earlier. Petrofac was awarded an engineering, procurement, and construction contract to design the Karan utilities and a 150-Mw cogeneration unit. South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. will build the Khursaniyah gas plant, 50 km northwest of Jubail in Saudi Arabia's Eastern province.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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