Contractors assigned for landmark Hail and Ghasha megaproject

16 January 2023
Adnoc signs pre-construction service agreements with contractors for the onshore and offshore packages of the multibillion-dollar sour gas megaproject


Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) has signed pre-construction service agreements (PCSAs) with selected contractors for its long-awaited Hail and Ghasha offshore sour gas field development, according to sources.

The agreements mark a momentous milestone for the project, which has witnessed delays since it was first launched in 2019.

Under the terms of the two PCSAs, Italian contractor Saipem, Abu Dhabi’s National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) and state-owned China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Company (CPECC) will work together on the offshore package, which covers the installation of offshore platforms, gas compression facilities and more than 400 kilometres of subsea pipelines.

France-headquartered Technip Energies, South Korean contractor Samsung Engineering and Italy’s Tecnimont have teamed up for the onshore work, which involves the construction of a gas process plant, pipeline network and new gas gathering units.

Rarely employed in the region, the PCSAs call upon the selected consortiums to start detailed engineering works, and possibly even early procurement for long-lead items required for the project, MEED earlier reported.

The estimated values of the offshore and onshore PCSAs are between $100m and $150m each, as per sources.

Adnoc earlier declined to comment on the information when approached by MEED.

Project progress

MEED in September last year reported on contractors submitting proposals for the detailed engineering work on the Hail and Ghasha megaproject as part of an early engagement process.

The PCSAs Adnoc has signed with the two consortiums are understood to be based on the proposals received last year.

The early engagement process with contractors is expected to precede the start of the full engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) execution phase of the strategic scheme.

US engineering firm Bechtel completed the project’s original front-end engineering and design (feed) in 2019, with tenders for what were four EPC packages issued soon after.

However, following the submission of commercial bids in early 2021, Adnoc opted to make revisions to the feed as part of an optimisation process started by Technip Energies in November 2021.

The revised feed aimed to reduce the scheme’s overall capital expenditure, which was previously estimated to be as high as $15bn.

As part of the optimisation process, the four original EPC packages were consolidated into two integrated offshore and onshore packages, which are now estimated to be as high as $5bn and $5.5bn, respectively, as per sources and based on the previous version of the project.

Following the award of the PCSAs, the consortiums will get to work on the detailed design aspect of their respective packages, with the aim of putting together a final offer for the main EPC work on Hail and Ghasha.

The timing of the award of the final EPC contracts is unknown at this point, but considering the fast-track execution schedule Adnoc is known to have planned for the Hail and Ghasha project, it could be expected to take place before the end of this year.

Hail and Ghasha fields

The Hail and Ghasha fields, along with the Hair Dalma, Satah, Bu Haseer, Nasr, Sarb, Shuwaihat and Mubarraz fields, are located in Abu Dhabi’s offshore Ghasha concession.

Adnoc holds the majority 55 per cent stake in the Ghasha concession. The other stakeholders are Italian energy major Eni with 25 per cent; Germany’s Wintershall Dea with 10 per cent; and Austria’s OMV and Russia’s Lukoil, each with 5 per cent.

Adnoc plans to produce more than 1.5 billion cubic feet a day of sour gas from the Ghasha concession by the middle of this decade. This target is aligned with the company’s broader goal of achieving gas self-sufficiency for the UAE by 2030.

In November 2021, Adnoc and its partners in the Ghasha concession awarded two EPC contracts for the Dalma offshore sour gas development project. Abu Dhabi’s NPCC and Spain-headquartered Tecnicas Reunidas won contracts worth $1.46bn for executing offshore and onshore EPC works on the Dalma project, respectively.

Four artificial islands have already been completed in the Ghasha concession, and development drilling is under way.

In addition, Adnoc awarded two contracts totalling $2bn to its subsidiary Adnoc Drilling in July last year for the Hail and Ghasha offshore sour gas field development project.

The awards comprise a $1.3bn contract for integrated drilling services and fluids, and a $711m contract for the provision of four island drilling units. Their duration is 10 years.

Adnoc also awarded a third contract, valued at $681m, to another subsidiary company, Adnoc Logistics & Services, to provide offshore logistics and marine support services for the planned Hail and Ghasha development.

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.