State-energy firm Qatar Petroleum (QP) has invited selected firms to bid by 28 March for the enabling works on its long-awaited Barzan gas recovery project.

Contractors expect project sponsor Barzan – a joint venture between QP and the US oil major Exxon-Mobil Corporation – to 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).

Barzan gas production  
Phase Production ( million cf/d)
 1 (by 2013) 1.7
2 2
3 2.5
Source: MEED  

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.

The minister added the project was delayed in 2008 and 2009, while the country tried to take advantage of falling engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) costs (MEED 26:1:09).

QP invited at least 10 international contractors to express interest in the four EPC deals to build on the scheme in November last year.

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

The project is intended to meet Qatar’s growing domestic natural gas requirements, primarily for petrochemicals, power generation and water desalination. Qatar’s natural gas consumption in 2008 was approximately 19.8 billion cubic metres, according to the UK’s BP.