A leading international consortium has emerged as the potential front runner for a massive offshore engineering, procurement, construction and installation package from Qatargas involving the first phase of its North Field Production Sustainability (NFPS) project.

Several people familiar with the development told Upstream the Qatari operator has selected its preferred contractor for the offshore package and is expected to award the EPCI job within weeks, ahead of the Football World Cup in the emirate which begins on 20 November.

A knowledgeable source said Qatargas’ goal is to place the contract by the end of October and take the final investment decision soon after.