Qatar Petroleum (QP) has awarded in-house consultancy deals to three of the world’s largest engineering contractors to help it keep pace with the rapid growth of the state’s energy industry, sources close to the national oil company tell MEED.

In the first week of November, QP’s technical services directorate issued three-year contracts to France’s Technip, Australia’s Worley-Parsons and the UK’s Petrofac, says one source.

The in-house consultancy deals are a first for QP, as the contractors are on call to work across its entire portfolio of facilities, rather than QP tendering work separately for different projects.

The deals cover feasibility studies and front-end engineering and design work for onshore and offshore facilities.

The three international contractors beat competition from five other shortlisted companies: the US’ Foster Wheeler, Spain’s TR, and Mott MacDonald, Penspen and Atkins, all of the UK.

QP received commercial bids for the work for the second time in July after it asked contractors to revise their prices in April. Materials prices have fallen sharply since the contractors bid for the consultancy deals on 11 January.

One Doha-based executive who bid on the project says the deals will allow Qatar to carry out projects with fewer delays.

“With these companies on call, QP will save time on the tendering procedure and will have direct access to some of the best engineering contractors,” he says.

In February 2008, QP shelved plans to create a joint venture engineering services company after several years of talks with international oil services firms (MEED 29:2:08).

The company had held talks with two shortlisted firms, Petrofac and the Dubai arm of the US’ CH2M Hill, with a view to creating a partnership with one of them to handle consultancy work on all of its projects.

In-house deals have become increasingly common in the region, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait, as a way for national oil companies to manage heavy project workloads and speed up the tendering process.

QP declined to comment.