State-energy firm Qatar Petroleum (QP) has begun the pre-qualification process for its long-awaited Barzan gas recovery project.

Contractors submitted pre-qualification documents to QP’s office at the end of March. A short-list is expected to emerge by the end of April or early May, an executive at a bidding contractor tells MEED.

QP invited at least 10 international contractors to express interest in the four EPC deals to build on the scheme in November last year (MEED 18:12:09).

The project sponsor, also called Barzan – a joint venture between QP and the US oil major Exxon-Mobil Corporation – will develop the gas structure in three phases. The first phase will involve the construction of two onshore gas processing trains by the end of 2013, with a combined capacity of 1.7 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d).

Phase two will deliver a further 2 billion cf/d and the third phase will add another 2.5 billion cf/d of gas, bringing the total to 6.2 billion cf/d.

The project has been planned for several years, but in January, Energy & Industry Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said the country would award the estimated $1.7bn of contracts for the development of the Barzan gas field by the end of this year.

Japan’s Chiyoda Corporation carried out the front-end engineering and design (Feed) study on the gas facilities.