Saipem have emerged as the frontrunner for the front-end engineering and design (feed) work to install a flare gas recovery system at Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company’s (Takreer) Abu Dhabi and Ruwais refineries.

This puts the company in a good position to secure the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deal, making the feed contract more significant than value.

“We are talking around $3m [for the feed contract],” said a source involved in the deal.

Other than Saipem, CH2M Hill (US), Jacobs Engineering Group (US), Mustang Engineering (US), Technip (France) and WorleyParsons (Australia) are bidding.

The feed contract precedes the EPC contract, which is expected to be awarded in the second quarter of 2012.

The project will reduce the volume of gas flared, thus minimising the carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. It will also add to Abu Dhabi’s natural gas supplies, as the recovered gas will be used as fuel rather than being flared off.

Earlier in the year, contractors had to resubmit their technical bids, as Takreer changed the scope of the contract to include the Abu Dhabi refinery.