Qatar Petroleum (QP) has asked contractors to resubmit prices by mid February for the contract to upgrade the company’s gas facilities at Dukhan and Mesaieed, which could be worth up to $1bn.

Technical discussions between QP and contractors ended on 4 February and the contractors have now been asked to submit new prices based on the revisions made to the scope of the project by QP by 14 February, according to sources at bidding firms.

A number of cost savings have been factored in to the project as a result of the discussions. “They have now been asked to submit new prices based on the revisions made during the talks”, says one source involved in the talks.

Commercial bids for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract were first submitted to QP on 22 November 2009, with Paris-based Technip emerging as the frontrunner to win the deal after submitting the lowest bid (MEED 2:12:09).

Key dates

  • 22 November 2009 – Commercial bids first submitted
  • 4 February 2010 – Technical talks between QP and contractors conluded
  • 14 February 2010 – Deadline for revised commercial bids

Source: MEED

Other bidding firms include France’s Technip, Italy’s Saipem, the UK’s Petrofac and a group of Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company with the US’ Black & Veatch.

The Mesaieed portion of the contract covers the construction of a new acid gas removal unit, an amine-sweetening plant, rehabilitation of the sulphur recovery unit, and the supply and installation of compressors and a flared gas system.

The plant will process around 750 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas, primarily to supply local petrochemical and power plants.

The second part of the contract is for an acid-gas removal unit at the onshore Dukhan field, to process 450 million cf/d of gas from the Khuff reservoir, which is part of the field.

An award on the contract is not expected before April.

“There are no declared postponements, but they [QP] are dragging their feet,” another contractor bidding for the contract says. “We expected something in the last quarter of 2009, but there were hardly any awards. We are expecting something in the first quarter of this year, but it may run into the second quarter.”

Delays to contract awards in the emirate appear to be becoming more common, say contractors.

“Where it is urgent and something is operational, they [QP] are pushing,” says one contractor working in the country. “But for expansion related projects, they seem to lack a desire to close a deal.”