Four groups have submitted bids to state-owned firm Qatar Petroleum (QP) for a $1bn project to upgrade gas facilities at Dukhan and Mesaieed.

The groups, which bid on 22 November for the project’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, were France’s Technip; the UK’s Petrofac; Italy’s Saipem; and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company with the US’ Black & Veatch, according to a Doha-based executive bidding for the contract.

QP has delayed the deadline for commercial bids twice to give an in-house team more time to complete the front-end engineering and design (Feed) phase of the project.

Contractors submitted technical bids to build the facilities in January.

The winning group will build facilities at Mesaieed including an acid-gas removal unit and an amine-sweetening plant.

The 750-million-cubic-feet-a-day (cf/d) plant will primarily supply gas to Qatar’s petrochemicals and power plants.

The second phase of the contract is for an acid-gas removal unit at the onshore Dukhan field.

The unit will have capacity to process about 450 million cf/d of gas from the Khuff reservoir.

Dukhan, one of the oldest fields in the state, produces about 330,000 barrels a day (b/d) of crude.

QP is working on an enhanced oil recovery scheme to increase the field’s output to 350,000 b/d by the end of 2010.

The state sources the bulk of the gas that it gives to industry from the North field’s Alpha processing plant and the Khuff reservoir.