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Gas Treatment Facilities, Offsites & Utilities Development Project
The project is about Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract to build gas treatment facilities as well as all accompanying off-sites and utilities in three different locations for the development of shale gas resources in Saudi Arabia. The shale gas will be produced in three different locations: - The Empty Quarter - South Ghawar in the Eastern Province - Jafurah in the northern desert region. Shale gas is the same as conventional natural gas in composition except it is trapped between impermeable rock formations, usually deep underground. To free the resource, it is necessary to create permeability in the surrounding rocks to release the gas. Creating permeability in rock to release gas thousands of metres under the surface is complex and expensive. This is achieved by a process known as fracking, which involves drilling long horizontal sections and creating artificial permeability by fracturing as many as 400 wells. Client is planning to invite companies this month to express interest in a front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract. The amount of man hours for the FEED contract is not known and the exact scope of works will not be known until the full FEED is completed. Work is expected to be done both in-kingdom and out of kingdom (IK/OOK). After the tender is released, invited companies will have about two months to submit bids and an award will be made in the first quarter of 2014. It is understood that the client has made inquiries with rig manufacturers regarding buying or leasing as many as 40 rigs that would be used in shale gas production. If production does start, then oilfield service companies will carry out all of the underground activities, which will include drilling the horizontal wells and fracturing (fracking) the rock formations.