The announcement that Qatar will invest $11bn in redeveloping operations at its offshore Bul Hinine oil field should provide a shot in the arm for the Gulf state’s energy projects market, which has been relatively flat in recent years.

Qatar completed its run of major gas investments in 2011 when RasGas awarded a $1.7bn engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) to Japan’s JGC on the Barzan Gas Development.

Since the moratorium was placed on developing new gas projects at Qatar’s North Field, upstream spending has fallen, but new oil projects should provide new opportunities for contractors in the coming years.

Qatar awarded $1.87bn of EPC in the oil and gas sector in 2013, largely from the $1.2bn contract awarded to Taiwan’s CTCI and Japan-based Chiyoda on phase two of the Laffan Condensate Refinery. This compared with just $542m awarded in 2012.

The next three years could see an increase in spending, as the Gulf country focuses on upstream oil expansions.

The first major project up for bidding is Occidental Petroleum’s estimated $3bn Idd e Shargi North Dome expansion. The megaproject is being tendered in six different packages, with the first awards likely to be made by the end of 2014.

Qatar Petroleum (QP) is implementing a redevelopment programme for its oil fields in including the onshore Dukhan and the offshore Bul Hanine and Maydan Mahzam fields and is in the process of carrying out reservoir and field-wide studies.

It appears that Bul Hanine will be the first to undergo a major redevelopment with the project currently in the pre-front end engineering & design (feed) phase.

The project will include new offshore central production facilities and a new onshore gas liquids processing facility at Mesaieed. QP also plans to drill around 150 new wells between now and 2028.

If the project proceeds on schedule, the bulk of the EPC contracts on Bul Hanine should be awarded in 2016.

While gas remains Qatar’s biggest potential for upstream expansion, its oil sector should provide improved opportunities for contractors until a decision is made on the North Field moratorium.