The Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations has awarded a Dh1.3 billion contract to National Petroleum Construction Company to carry out the third phase of its gas development in the Bab field.

The contract was signed by Saeed Khoury, assistant general manager of Adco, and Aqeel Madi, general manager of NPCC.

The project, known as OGD III-Upstream, will be completed by the end of July 2007.

Saeed Khoury congratulated the NPCC Company and said the project was very important for Adnoc, Adco and Gasco.

"I am sure NPCC will adhere to all the contract's articles," he said.

Madi expressed his satisfaction at winning the contract, and said NPCC would ensure the project was completed in the specified time and to the required specifications.

The project aims to raise natural gas production capacity to three times its current level at the Thumama field.

The gas will be pumped through a huge pipeline network to specialised firms in Abu Dhabi Gas Industries (Gasco) in OGD III-Downstream in the Bab Area.

NPCC will install systems to collect and re-inject gas, and set up an additional 400 kilometre pipeline network.

The company will also develop five remote gas collector stations and will set up a sixth gas station.

Bechtel earlier carried out a survey in 2003, which was supervised by Gasco.