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ExxonMobil kicks off Deep Neptun contest

Bid documents issued for two subsea equipment contracts at Black Sea project

ExxonMobil has issued bid documents for two contracts covering subsea equipment on its $1.5 billion to $2 billion Deep Neptun gas project in the Romanian Black Sea.

The initial phase of the project will exploit the deep-water Domino and shallow-water Pelican South gas discoveries, with first gas due to flow in 2020 or 2021.

A subsea production system will send gas to shore via a 160-kilometre pipeline and an unmanned, 10,500-tonne de-watering platform to be installed on the continental shelf.

Late last month, the US supermajor issued two separate bid documents, one for the subsea wellheads on Domino and Pelican South and the other for umbilicals.

Valued at $20 million to $30 million, the umbilical contract covers the design, engineering and construction of 32 kilometres of static umbilicals.

The longest umbilical, at 25 kilometres, will link Domino with the platform, while there will also be a five-kilometre infield umbilical.

The umbilical running between Pelican South and the platform will be just two kilometres long.

Bids must be submitted by 31 October, with ExxonMobil choosing TechnipFMC, Oceaneering and NOV-Flexibles to compete for this package.

Aker Solutions expressed an interest, but one of its technical solutions failed to pass muster.

The wellhead supply and installation order is valued at between $38 million and $40 million and covers 11 wellheads.

However, the operator reserves the right to halve the number of wellheads needed to six, or increase the number required to 12.

The wellheads will be installed in water depths of 130 metres at Pelican South to more than 1100 metres at Domino.

Contractors have until 26 October to submit their bids, and the runners are expected to include the contenders currently chasing Deep Neptune’s subsea production system (SPS) order.

ExxonMobil has pre-qualified TechnipFMC, OneSubsea, Aker Solutions and GE Baker Hughes to receive bid documents for the SPS contract which is valued at about $250 million.

This order includes 10 trees, three manifolds, 20 well jumpers, seven flowline jumpers and 11 subsea control modules.

Meanwhile, eight contracting groups responded to ExxonMobil’s pre-bid exercise for a $950-million engineering, procurement, construction and installation contract focused on the gas pipeline and the platform.

This prestigious package involves Deep Neptun’s 32-inch diameter gas export line, 35 kilometres of 10.75-18 inch flowlines as well as the platform’s 5500-tonne jacket, 5000-tonne deck and 2000 tonnes of piles.

Potential bidders include Allseas, Heerema, McDermott, Saipem, Sapura Energy, Subsea 7 and TechnipFMC.

A response was also received from a joint venture of Houston-based EXP Engineering and Netherlands-based Sterna.

Sterna is a subsidiary of Israeli infrastructure company Tahal Group.