Oil projects worth $112bn have been approved and are to be put out to tender in the Gulf, Edward James, Head of MEED Insight, told MEED’s Hydrocarbons EPC 2010 conference in Abu Dhabi on 22 November.

“Major projects coming out in 2011 could include the Chemaweyaat complex and Zadco’s crude increment scheme,” James said. “The Dow Chemicals-Aramco petrochemicals complex in Jubail is also likely to go ahead.”

James said that that the MEED Projects database showed that South Korean companies had dominated the Gulf oil and gas EPC market in the past two years.

“We expect Korean contractors to continue to be a major force,” James said. “But we there will be growing involvement by Chinese and Indian companies.”

James said that the response to recent project tenders shows major European companies are working harder to win Gulf EPC contracts.

“European contractors are being more competitive as they seek to claw back market share from Asian companies,” James said. “This is driving down EPC prices in the region by up to 50 per cent below levels seen in 2008. Leading national oil companies have saved billions of dollars by asking for rebids.”