The five shortlisted companies are Conoco, ExxonMobil Corporationand Occidental Petroleum Corporation, all of the US, the UK’s BPand the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. Each has already been given technical details through the data rooms, which are now closed. DEL says that the selection will be based on which company can add significant commercial and strategic value to the project.

DEL was close in mid March to awarding the midstream front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract. US-based Halliburton KBRis the frontrunner to win the contract, which is expected to take four-six months to complete. The midstream FEED covers 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 upstream FEED is being carried out by US-based Foster Wheeler, with France’s Sofresid(MEED 28:12:01). DEL’s financial adviser is Credit Suisse First Boston (MEED 11:1:02).

Dolphin involves the supply of 2,000 million cubic feet a day of Qatari gas via a 440-kilometre subsea pipeline to the UAE. First deliveries are due to begin in 2005.