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Qatargas starts race for new North Field prize

At least four contractors invited to pre-qualify for Sustainability Project tender

Qatargas has fired the starting gun on a substantial engineering, procurement, construction and installation contract involving the next stage of its giant North Field Sustainability Project, with the project expected to be worth about $1.5 billion.

Project observers told Upstream that the Qatari state-owned giant recently sought interest from at least four leading international EPC contractors to carry out work on the next phase of the project.

Those understood to have been invited include US giant McDermott International, Oslo-listed Subsea 7, Italy’s Saipem and UK-based TechnipFMC, sources said.

Other contractors could also be involved but this could not be confirmed by Upstream.

Qatargas is expected to pre-qualify the offshore EPC contractors and issue tender documents to short-listed players later this year, sources said.

One industry source described the workscope as “substantial” and added the facilities required for the new development phase are more than double its previous stage.

The scope includes at least four wellhead platforms and one additional jacket, nine riser platforms, one bridge-supported platform, bridges connecting riser platforms, clad subsea pipelines and subsea power cables.

McDermott earlier this year won a contract for work on the previous stage of the project, which was thought to be worth between $700 million and $800 million, sources suggested.

The contractor's workscope entails fabrication of six platform jackets as well as three associated topsides for the project in the Persian Gulf that will be carried out at its Batam Island yard in Indonesia.

It also includes eight kilometres of 28-inch pipeline, two inter-platform bridges and eight kilometres of composite cables, as well as brownfield work at existing offshore facilities.

Subsea 7 and Saipem were were understood to have also bid for this previous tender.

The project is a crucial element of Qatar’s strategy to support gas production from the North Field.

Qatargas earlier this year also awarded a key front-end engineering and design contract to Saipem for the new development phase of the Sustainability Project.

The Italian contractor is believed to be working currently on that study, which is likely to be completed within a month or two.

Qatar is a leading producer and exporter of liquefied natural gas with output today of 77 million tonnes per annum.

Qatargas plans to boost its liquefaction capacity to 110 million tpa by 2023 and is carrying out tenders for several expansion projects, together worth about $18 billion.

The North Field Sustainability and Expansion projects were among the first to be taken on by Qatar following the removal in 2017 of a 12-year self-imposed moratorium on further development of the field.

It is the largest non-associated gas field in the world, with estimated recoverable reserves of 900 trillion cubic feet.

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