Qatar’s North Oil Company (NOC) has kicked off the chase for a giant development project involving multiple offshore platforms and associated subsea infrastructure for the expansion of Al-Shaheen oilfield.

Several people familiar with the development told Upstream that NOC recently issued the front-end engineering and design tender for work on the third phase of the Gallaf development, involving Al-Shaheen.

NOC — a partnership of state-controlled QatarEnergy and France’s TotalEnergies — is executing the Gallaf project, which aims to maintain the production profile at Al-Shaheen, Qatar’s largest offshore oilfield.

Not bound by Opec+

The tiny emirate is not part of Opec+ and hence is not bound by potential oil production cuts that have affected several Persian Gulf nations in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Experts believe Qatar will press ahead with strategic developments on Al-Shaheen, Bul Hanine and ISND oilfields, on the back of higher crude prices and improved market fundamentals.

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While Qatar’s oil production capacity is lower than neighbours such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, its long-term strategy of revitalising its leading offshore oilfields is still highly significant.

Al-Shaheen accounts for about half of national oil production, which, according to QatarEnergy's annual 2019 review, was running at just over 592,000 barrels per day.

Contracting breakdown

NOC is said to have laid out plans to tender the most recent Gallaf expansion phase through multiple phases, with the latest tender involving FEED work on the first batch of contracts for engineering, procurement, construction and installation.

McDermott International is carrying out the pre-FEED work on the first batch of Gallaf Phase-3, which was awarded earlier this year.

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The first batch is expected to involve up to 11 wellhead platforms, one riser platform, one central processing platform, living quarters and a flare tower, project watchers said.

Those likely to compete for the FEED tender include McDermott, Wood, WorleyParsons and Technip Energies, Upstream understands.

Bids are likely to be submitted within a month or two, with the contract expected to be finalised early next year, another person said.

QatarEnergy is yet to respond to an Upstream query on the Gallaf FEED tender.

Gallaf awards

NOC dished out awards for the third batch of Gallaf Phase-2 this year and placed contracts worth upwards of $1 billion to leading contractors, Upstream reported.

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Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering landed a contract to build a large fixed offshore platform as part of Package 6 in the Al-Shaheen expansion.

The main Package 6 contract is worth 725 billion won ($620 million), Daewoo said.

A spokesperson for Daewoo earlier told Upstream that Package 6 would consist of four main elements — a new central processing platform topsides, a new jacket, an interconnecting bridge and brownfield integration works on existing host platforms.

Package 5 winner

Vietnam’s PTSC landed a separate EPCI contract for Package 5 of the Gallaf development.

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This includes two wellhead platforms with a total weight of up to 19,000 tonnes, PTSC said.

The Package 5 workscope involves the “detailed design, procurement, construction, pre-commissioning, commissioning, loadout, sea-fastening, transportation and installation, hook-up and offshore commissioning” of the offshore facilities.

PTSC was associated with the first batch of Gallaf. In 2018, NOC awarded the Vietnamese company a contract thought to be worth between $300 million and $350 million for the decks and bridges of three wellhead platforms.

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Subsea 7 earlier this year confirmed a key offshore pipeline contract for Gallaf Batch 3, for Al-Shaheen.

Key oilfield

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The field’s existing facilities include 33 platforms, 300 wells and several production hubs over nine locations.

Located on Block 5, about 80 kilometres offshore, Al-Shaheen started production in 1994, with TotalEnergies assuming operatorship in 2017, when production was about 300,000 bpd.

Under a 25-year concession agreement, TotalEnergies holds a 30% stake in NOC, while QatarEnergy holds a 70% working interest.