The refinancing is expected to take place this year.

Banks including BNP Paribas, Calyon, HSBC, Societe Generale and Citigroup are understood to have pitched for the refinancing mandate at a meeting in Abu Dhabi in April.

Dolphin Energy originally mandated Citigroup, ABN Amro and HSBC to raise $3.45bn for it in 2006.

The gas pipeline project to transport Qatari gas to the UAE and Oman is 51 per cent owned by the UAE government, with the US’ Occidental Petroleum and France’s Total each holding a 24.5 per cent stake.