Saudi Aramco has kicked off the chase for three offshore contracts falling within the scope of its long-term agreement (LTA) programme, involving some of Saudi Arabia’s largest oilfields.

Multiple people with direct knowledge of the process told Upstream that the state-owned giant recently issued tender documents to its select group of LTA players for the trio of maintenance and brownfield projects in the Persian Gulf.

The projects are termed contract release purchase orders (CRPOs) and the three in question are CRPO 77 and CRPO 91 and CRPO 92, one informed person said.

Aramco recently highlighted its intent to reach net zero scope-1 and scope-2 emissions by 2050, but is pressing ahead with key oil and gas investments that are aimed at maintaining the production profile of some of the kingdom’s largest fields.

Saudi Aramco has been spending between $1.5 billion and $2 billion each year on LTA projects, but cash flows nosedived last year as the pandemic dragged several regional economies into a sustained slowdown.

However, LTA spending this year has recovered substantially on the back of higher crude prices and improved market fundamentals.

Multiple offshore LTA engineering, procurement and construction contracts have been observed moving into the tendering stage, with Aramco expected to float many over the coming months.

The company’s lucrative LTA programme aims to rejuvenate oil and gas production from the country’s maturing oilfields.

CRPO 91 involves up to six offshore jackets in Aramco’s Marjan, Safaniyah and Abu Safah fields, a second person said.

CRPO 92 includes the EPC of two offshore production deck modules for the Marjan and Abu Safah fields, he added.

CRPO 77 is smaller and involves the demolition of an offshore platform and associated offshore pipelines in the Safaniyah oilfield, project watchers said.

Up to 10 leading international players, including several consortia, have secured entry to Aramco’s LTA group, qualifying to bid for brownfield and maintenance contracts on offshore fields.

Those that are part of the LTA arrangement and are expected to chase the jobs include: Sapura Energy; a pairing of Lamprell and Boskalis; McDermott International and Dynamic Industries; Saipem; a partnership of Larsen & Toubro Hydrocarbon Engineering with Subsea 7; Abu Dhabi’s National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC); China’s Offshore Oil Engineering Company; a grouping of TechnipFMC and Malaysia Marine & Heavy Engineering; and Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Aramco has awarded multiple LTA jobs to offshore contractors this year, including Saipem, NPCC, McDermott, Lamprell and Sapura Energy, while many others are said to be in the tendering stage.

In addition to the brownfield developments, LTA players are competing for up to five huge offshore EPC projects that are part of the country’s Zuluf incremental capacity project.

The Zuluf greenfield developments, likely to be together valued between $5 billion and $6 billion, are aimed at significantly ramping up production from the giant oilfield.