The new work for Saipem pertains to engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) activities related to the next phase of the Zohr Field Development Project in the Mediterranean Sea, which had been in production since December 2017.

The Zohr Field’s Ramp Up to Plateau phase is slated to begin in January 2019. Prior to this, an Optimized Ramp Up phase at the offshore Egyptian gas field contained in the Shorouk Block was completed for which Saipem was given a $900m worth EPCI contract from Petrobel in July 2017.

Petrobel is a 50-50 joint venture formed by Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) with Eni’s Egyptian subsidiary IEOC. The joint venture is responsible for the development of the supergiant Zohr Field on behalf of PetroShorouk, which in turn, is a joint venture between Egyptian Natural Gas (EGAS) and IEOC, Rosneft, BP and Mubadala Petroleum.

Saipem CEO Stefano Cao said: “This further award of works on the Zohr development represents a new recognition of our proven capacity to embrace our client’s objectives at the early stages of cooperation and bring them to a conclusion.

“The innovative assets and technologies already used in the previous phases, and the ability to build solid local partnerships, will also ensure the success of this latest phase”.

Under the current contract, Saipem will undertake the installation of a second 30inch diameter gas export pipeline, infield clad lines, umbilicals and electrical/fiber optic cable along with EPCI work for the field development, comprising drilling of 10 wells in water depth of up to 1700m.

The Italian oil and gas industry contractor will deploy the Castorone ultra-deep water pipelayer, Normand Maximus construction vessel, Saipem 3000 and other highly specialized vessels to execute the new phase of works at the Zohr Field Development Project.

Discovered in August 2015, the Zohr gas field, which is claimed to be the largest gas discovery in Egypt and also in the Mediterranean Sea, is believed to hold up to 30 trillion cubic feet of gas in place.