A leading Middle-East-based engineering and construction giant has emerged as the potential frontrunner for a sizeable offshore oilfield expansion contract from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) for its Lower Zakum field.

Two people close to the development told Upstream that the Emirati state-controlled giant is poised to finalise its preferred contractor for an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) deal involving its Lower Zakum oilfield, with the project touted to be worth upwards of $500 million.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) is believed to be “well placed” for the EPCI job, which is likely to be awarded later this month, one person said.