State-energy firm Qatar Petroleum (QP) has prequalified four groups to bid for the onshore portion of the estimated $1.7bn Barzan gas development deal at Ras Laffan in the north of the emirate.

The prequalified companies include:

  • Technip (France)
  • Saipem (Italy), China Technical Consultants (CTCI)
  • Chiyoda Corporation (Japan), Samsung Engineering (South Korea)
  • JGC (Japan)

At least 10 international contractors had originally been invited to express interest in the four engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deals in November last year. They submitted prequalification documents at the end of March to QP’s Doha offices and a bidders’ meeting followed on 3 May (MEED 27:4:10).

QP was not available to comment on the reasons behind the selection. Contractors now expect tender documents to be issued before the end of May.

For the offshore package, prequalified contractors include:

  • J Ray McDermott (UAE)
  • Saipem (Italy)
  • National Petroleum Construction Company (UAE)
  • Hyundai Heavy Industries (South Korea)

According to one contractor source, tender documents are expected to be issued over the next two weeks with an August deadline set for technical submissions on both the onshore and offshore portions of the deal. The deadline for commercial bids will be due in September or October.

The Barzan gas development is a joint venture between QP and US oil major ExxonMobil Corporation which aims to meet the growing natural gas requirements of Qatar’s power and water generation companies as well as providing feedstock for downstream petrochemicals production.

The project is expected to eventually produce to 6.2 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d), with development of the gas structure over 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 cf/d.