By Saleh al-Shaibany
State-run PDO says date changed after bigger than expected response to bidding.
State-run Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) said on Wednesday it had extended the deadline for prequalification of contractors to compete for up to $7 billion in contracts to work on the country's oilfields.
PDO is Oman's largest oil producer and an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell. It pumped 633,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Oman's crude and condensate output of 757,000 bpd in 2008.
PDO has extended the deadlines for companies to submit paperwork for qualification to Aug. 12 from July 28, PDO said on its website.
"The dates have been moved to give PDO more time to evaluate the bids after receiving a bigger response than we expected," a PDO tender official told Reuters.
There are four contracts on offer, two each on fields in the country's north and south.
One contract in each area covers engineering and maintenance at fields, each with annual turnover of up to $200 million.
Two other contracts worth up to $150 million a year cover work offsite from the oilfields, such as hooking up pipelines, again one in the north and one in the south.
The deals have a duration of seven years, with an option to extend for three more.
The Gulf Arab state is a small independent producer. Its crude oil forms part of the benchmark price for around 12 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude exports from Middle East producers to Asia.
Oman has spent heavily on new technology to enhance oil output from its old, depleted fields. It aims to boost total crude and oil condensate output to 805,000 bpd in 2009. (Reuters)