At least two groups are understood to have applied for prequalification for the onshore engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. They are: Japan’s Chiyoda Corporation, with Paris-based Technip; and JGC Corporation, also of Japan, with the US’ Halliburton KBRand Italy’s Snamprogetti. The contract is due to be awarded in late 2005.

The project’s onshore portion involves the construction of a GTL plant with two 70,000-barrel-a-day trains, an onshore gas processing plant, air separation units and offsites and utilities. The first train is due on stream in 2009 and the second is scheduled for completion two years later. JGC and Halliburton KBR were awarded the 14-15-month front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract on the development in March (MEED 12:3:04).

The project’s offshore portion covers the construction of two wellhead platforms in the North field. The first appraisal well was spudded in mid-February and a second one is due to be completed by year-end (MEED 20:2:04).

The Pearl project is the first of several integrated GTL schemes planned at Ras Laffan, the latest being a $7,000 million venture by QP and the US’ ExxonMobil Corporation.