Italian contractor Saipem will carry out 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, which puts it in a good position to win the engineering, procurement and design (EPC) contract.

Saipem will begin work on the $3m job immediately, and complete the feed within eight months, according to a source at the company.

The Italians were competing with CH2M Hill (US), Jacobs Engineering Group (US), Mustang Engineering (US), Technip (France) and WorleyParsons (Australia) for the contract.

Undertaking the feed will put Saipem in a strong position to win the EPC contract, which is expected to be awarded in the second quarter of 2012, says the source.

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

The scope of the EPC work includes fitting vapour headers, knockout and liquid seal vessels, liquid ring compressors and motors and three phase separators on the refineries’ hydroskimmers and hydrocrackers.