UK contractor Wood Group has landed a prized contract from QatarEnergy to carry out front-end engineering and design studies on the further development of its Bul Hanine and Maydan Mahzam offshore oilfields.

Three people with direct knowledge of the development told Upstream that Aberdeen-based Wood was recently awarded the FEED contract.

One source described the FEED work as extensive and said it is likely to be carried out for a period of 20-22 months.

Wood has also carried out the pre-FEED work on the combined development that was awarded by the Qatari giant in 2019.

Its workscope for the pre-FEED job included studies on the expansion of existing offshore production stations PS-2 and PS-3, several wellhead platforms, riser towers, multiple segments of offshore pipelines and other associated offshore infrastructure, Upstream reported.

One industry source said Wood’s acquaintance with the Qatari offshore development left the contractor well-positioned for the fresh FEED award.

QatarEnergy and Wood are yet to respond to Upstream queries on the combined FEED job.

Oilfield development plans

Gas-rich Qatar has an oil production capacity ranging between 500,000 and 600,000 barrels per day, much smaller than other of the region’s heavyweights.

However, the tiny emirate walked out of the Opec grouping in 2019 and is therefore not bound to any potential agreement to curb its oil output, giving it more flexibility to continue spending on key oil-based developments.

Analysts have suggested that while Qatar is expected to continue prioritising its multi-billion expansion of its giant North Field, it would continue investing in some of its key offshore oilfields — including Al Shaheen, ISND, Bul Hanine and Maydan Mahzam.

As Brent prices continue to stay above $100 per barrel, Qatar is expected to revive more of its key oilfield expansion plans on the backdrop of improved field economics.

In 2014, Qatar announced plans to spend more than $10 billion on revamping Bul Hanine alone, dividing the project into three phases — 1A, 1B and 2.

The further development of Bul Hanine and Maydan Mahzam oilfields has been on the cards for several years, but Qatar in 2017, decided to put the expansion project on the backburner, due to sustained low crude oil prices.

Qatar has already embarked on phases 1A and 1B, but the second phase of Bul Hanine, which was thought to include a huge platform super-complex, was stalled in 2017.

Fresh award

QatarEnergy last month awarded a technical services contract to Netherlands-headquartered Fugro aimed at de-risking the further development of the Bul Hanine and Maydan Mahzam offshore oilfields.

The Dutch player earlier confirmed the award and said its workscope involves the delivery of “high-value multi-year seabed geo-data acquisition and geo-consultancy services” for the prized offshore asset.

The company said that work would be carried out from three state-of-the-art vessels —Fugro Proteus, Pacific Grouse and Bourbon Enterprise.

Previous development phase

In 2017, McDermott landed a contract from the Qatari state-owned giant for work on phase 1B of the Bul Hanine redevelopment,thought to be worth more than $350 million.

That project included topsides for four wellhead platforms, a manifold platform, 10 kilometres of umbilicals and subsea pipelines for well fluids and gas lift.

McDermott was also involved with the initial phase of the Bul Hanine redevelopment and was awarded an EPCI contract for four wellhead jackets in 2016 as part of the project’s phase 1A.

QatarEnergy has been producing oil and associated gas from Maydan Mahzam and Bul Hanine for more than four decades.

Maydan Mahzam started production in 1965 and Bul Hanine in 1972.

Bul Hanine lies about 120 kilometres off Qatar and has already produced more than 1.3 billion barrels of oil.

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