The contract award for the Umm al-Lulu offshore field development’s largest package has been delayed further as operator Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco) remains undecided over two bids still on the table.

Adma-Opco is deciding between commercial proposals offered by South Korea’s Samsung Engineering and a consortium of France-based Technip and local group National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) for Umm al-Lulu package two.

The two groups were told to resubmit engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bids with revised prices after the original frontrunner, Italy’s Saipem, was disqualified from the tender in April after submitting an offer of about $1.5bn.

While Technip-NPCC submitted the lowest bid after the resubmission, the French group changed its proposed engineering works base from Paris to Abu Dhabi, a deviation which could rule it out from the award, say sources close to the bidding process.

According to one source, there is a stalemate between the engineering and commercial teams of Adma-Opco, with the former unwilling to accept the latter’s recommendation due to the deviation in Technip-NPCC’s resubmitted proposal.

Further delays could affect the project’s completion schedule, as all other major contracts have been awarded on the Umm al-Lulu full field development. NPCC won the smaller first package earlier this year with a bid of $766m.