The contract, valued at up to $2,000 million, is expected to be awarded by the end of December. Companies priced the Ras Laffan work on the basis of building train 1, with train 2 as an option. Each train will have capacity of 7.8 million tonnes a year (t/y).

Qatargas II has also opened commercial bids for the main upstream EPC package in the North field. Three companies are competing for the estimated $600 million contract. They are Abu Dhabi’s National Petroleum Construction Company, Italy’s Saipemand Jebel Ali-based J Ray McDermott Middle East.

The two EPC packages will be the last major awards on the Qatargas II project, which involves the delivery of 15.6 million t/y of liquefied natural gas (LNG) into the UK, starting in late 2007. Japan’s Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI)has already been awarded the $160 million tanks package at Ras Laffan and the US’ Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I), the estimated $725 million EPC contract to build the gas receiving terminal in Wales.