Qatar Petroleum (QP) and ExxonMobil Corp-oration are approaching contractors for the front-end engineering and design package on the offshore element of the Barzan gas development.

The Barzan project is of immense strategic importance to Exxon, after the US firm pulled out of a major gas-to-liquids (GTL) project with QP at Ras Laffan in February because of spiralling costs (MEED 23:2:07).

The scheme should deliver 1,500 million cubic feet a day of gas from the North field from 2012, to both local and international markets.

The front-end engineering and design tender is expected to be issued in September, with an award due in the first quarter

of 2008.

The scope of works includes three unmanned offshore wellhead platforms, riser tower platforms, power supply to existing offshore platforms and subsea intrafield pipelines. The package also includes two 34-inch, 72-kilometre-long wet gas pipelines running to the shore, two 28-inch intrafield pipelines of six kilometres and nine kilometres respectively, and two 34-inch onshore gas export pipelines to the inlet gas reception facilities.

Once the front-end engineering and design and front-end execution planning contractors have been selected, contracts will be agreed with Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company (RasGas). It is expected to award a lump sum, fixed price contract.

The contractor will also be responsible for the development of the engineering, procurement and construction phase bid list.