National Oil Corporation (NOC), with its partner Eni of Italy, has yet to decide whether the bid is valid as J&P did not prequalify for the contract independently. Project sources say that NOC may once again call for revised prices before the contract is finally awarded.

The pipeline forms package 3 of the $4,500 million Western Desert gas project, which involves the export of 8,000 million cubic metres a year of gas to Italy. The latest round of bidding follows the inclusion in April of China Engineering Petroleum & Construction Companyin the original shortlist of three bidders.