The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has won the contract to raise the $8bn required to finance the development of a gas structure in Qatar’s giant North Field, say bankers close to the deal.
Barzan, which is a joint venture of state-run Qatar Petroleum (QP) and the US’ Exxon-Mobil Corporation, is seeking to raise the project finance in one go in 2010.
RBS will raise part of the debt through a bond and the rest through bank loans, but Barzan has yet to decide how much will be raised through each route. One UAE-based project finance banker says RBS’ success in raising a $1.3bn bond for Abu Dhabi’s Dolphin Energy project in April encouraged QP to include a bond in its debt package for Barzan.
RBS beat the UK’s HSBC and France’s BNP Paribas to win the mandate. The three banks pitched for the work in mid September.
RBS has previously advised QP-ExxonMobil joint ventures on other Qatari projects, including the financing of the RasGas 2 and 3 liquefied natural gas trains. RBS raised $8bn in total for these projects in 2005.
In December, Barzan will ask for initial expressions of interest from contractors for the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the development.
Barzan approached several potential bidders for the contract in the last week of October.
In June, Japan’s Chiyoda Corporation restarted the front-end engineering and design (Feed) contract for the facilities needed to develop the Barzan structure.