State-run oil company Qatar Petroleum (QP) has cancelled the tender for a contract to build the main structures for its new headquarters complex at Lusail, leading contractors to say they now expect the project to be shelved.

The decision to cancel the tender follows discussions between QP and local developer Barwa Real Estate Company for the energy giant to buy the Barwa Financial District development.

The talks began in mid-February. If a deal is concluded, QP is expected to use the 71,000-square-metre project as its corporate centre for administration, general operations and financial activities. This would, in turn, negate the need for the Lusail development.

“They have cancelled the contract for the construction of the concrete sub and super structures for four office buildings and I assume the rest of the project will be cancelled too,” says one contractor hoping to win work on the scheme.

The headquarters complex at Lusail would have consisted of four office towers of nine to 15 floors, linked by a ground-level concourse. The office buildings would have been used by about 3,000 QP staff. QP received bids in late February for a contract for the enabling works and car parks (MEED 24:2:10).

It is the second office project to be cancelled by QP in 2010. In late January it cancelled a tender for the estimated QR1.5bn ($411m) contract to build an office complex at Ras Laffan. According to sources close to that project, the tender was cancelled for budgetary reasons (MEED 8:2:10).