Up to 11 groups of contractors submitted bids by 16 October for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) for the upstream and midstream works.

The prequalifiers for the upstream FEED contract were ABB Lummus Global, Bechtel and Kellogg Brown & Root, all US-based, Fluor Daniel of the US, with Australia’s Worley, Foster Wheeler Corporation of the US, with France’s Sofresid, Technip of France and US-based Parsons International, with the US’ Mustang.

The scope of works for the upstream FEED includes procurement services and construction management for the offshore production platforms in the North field, the offshore pipeline running from the gas reservoir to Ras Laffan in Qatar, a gas-processing plant at Ras Laffan, and product storage, offsites, loading, and associated facilities. The contract period is about nine-12 months.

The prequalifiers for the midstream FEED package are Fluor Daniel and Kellogg Brown & Root, the UK/Norwegian Kvaerner E&C, with Sofresid, and Technip, with the UK’s JP Kenny.

The scope of works includes procurement services and construction management for the 350-kilometre subsea pipeline, running from Ras Laffan to Taweelah, gas-receiving and metering facilities at Taweelah and Jebel Ali in the UAE, and the riser platform. The contract will take four-six months.

Bids have also been submitted for the environmental impact assessment and a geological survey for the offshore gas pipelines. Eleven companies were prequalified to bid. The two to three-month contract involves a survey of the 48-inch pipeline, which will run from Ras Laffan to Taweelah and Jebel Ali, landing sites and the riser platform area.

All three contracts are due to be awarded later this year.

Abu Dhabi-based UAE Offsets Group (UOG), which holds a 75.5 per cent stake in DEL, is expected to select a new midstream partner for the project by early next year. The new partner will be granted a 24.5 per cent stake in DEL. In early August, UOG announced a shortlist of five international oil companies (IOCs) from which it will select the new partner. They are: Conoco, ExxonMobil Corporationand Occidental Petroleum Corporation, all of the US, BP International of the UK and Royal Dutch/Shell Group the UK/Netherlands. (MEED 17:8:01). UOG made technical presentations to the five companies from 6-10 October.

‘Over the coming weeks, the IOCs will be given additional data and invited to submit their offers by late December,’ UOG said on 14 October.

The next stage in the estimated $3,500 million gas pipeline project will be the appointment of a financial adviser. ‘The selection of a financial adviser is imminent,’ said UOG.

A shortlist of four banks has been drawn up from among the original 11 bidders. Credit Suisse First Boston is the selected frontrunner (MEED 19:10:01).