After several contract awards on Abu Dhabi’s offshore developments, the execution phase is almost fully under way for three key oil field projects.

The tendering phase for the largest contract on Upper Zakum took well over a year, while the main deals on Satah al-Razboot (Sarb) and Umm al-Lulu have taken about 12 months to find engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors.

The Umm al-Lulu field development, located in the Gulf close to Abu Dhabi city, is close to going ahead, but operator Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco) has still to settle on a contractor for package two after disqualifying Saipem’s $1.5bn bid.

While both France’s Technip and South Korea’s Samsung Engineering appear to still be in the running for the lucrative deal, other contractors focusing on the Abu Dhabi offshore sector have new opportunities on the horizon.

Adma-Opco will now turn its focus to the Nasr field, located close to the UAE’s maritime border with Iran. According to contractors, the tenders for two Nasr full field development packages – one for pipelines and one for platforms – have been delayed, but are expected to be released by the end of the second quarter.

After several high-profile contractors lost out on major packages on Upper Zakum, Sarb and Umm al-Lulu fields, the Nasr tenders are expected to be highly competitive.

These four fields are central to Abu Dhabi’s plans to significantly boost its offshore oil production capacity over the next five years. Contractors missing out on the current phase of developments could have to wait many years before the same level of opportunity crops up again in Abu Dhabi’s offshore sector.