Qatargas has initiated the tender process for a project that involves laying several kilometres of offshore pipelines and fibre cables for its giant North Field.

Two people familiar with the development told Upstream that the Qatari state-owned giant has issued tender documents for the prized engineering, procurement, construction and installation contract (Package 1).

“Technical and commercial offers are likely to be submitted on 30 March,” one person confirmed.

The work being offered is said to be substantial and is part of the North Field sustainability (NFPS) compression project that aims to maintain the production profile of the gas field.

Three packages are expected to be offered.

The pipelay package (Package 1) recently offered is in addition to the huge EPCI package, Package 2, tendered by Qatargas last year.

Package 2 — already under bidding — includes two huge offshore compression “super-complexes” destined for the sustainability project.

The fresh development phase of the giant compression sustainability project includes pipelines, compression platforms and other crucial offshore infrastructure and is said to be worth billions of dollars, with work expected to be carried out in multiple phases.

Qatargas is a subsidiary of state-owned giant QatarEnergy that is overseeing the emirate’s major expansion plans for the oil and gas sector.

QatarEnergy has yet to respond to Upstream’s request for comment on Package 1.

Package 3 will focus on riser platforms, wellhead platforms and infield pipelines, project watchers said.

Workscope on offer

The Package 1 scope includes the EPCI of fuel gas pipelines and fibre optic cable networks.

It comprises two 32-inch carbon steel trunk lines from onshore to a key offshore facility with interconnecting lines, totalling up to 190 kilometres, one person said.

The laying of several kilometres of fibre optic cables and composite power cables is included, he added.

In addition, the work comprises an onshore fuel gas tie-in from QatarEnergy’s gas grid and the hook-up of associated facilities.

Those said to be chasing the pipelay project include Italy’s Saipem, McDermott International of the US and Oslo-listed Subsea 7.

Switzerland-based Allseas may also be eyeing the project, but this could not be confirmed by Upstream.

Along with the pipelay package, contractors are battling it out for Package 2, which includes two substantial offshore compression platforms, a pair of accommodation platforms and two flare platforms.

The combined weight of these six structures offered in this package could be close to 100,000 tonnes, Upstream understands.

The operator’s long-term plan for the NFPS compression project could require at least seven compression platforms being tendered across four phases over the next few years.

TechnipFMC — as it was before the spin-off of Technip Energies — carried out the front-end engineering and design work for the offshore compression workscope.

Qatar is pressing ahead with billions of dollars’ worth of investments to expand and maintain the production capacity of North Field.

QatarEnergy, through Qatargas, is handling bid processes for several major onshore and offshore EPC packages for the North Field Expansion and NFPS projects.

Qatar is executing the first expansion phase of North Field East, valued at $28.75 billion. The project will increase the nation’s liquefied natural gas production capacity to 110 million tonnes per annum by the middle of this decade, from the current nameplate capacity of 77 million tpa.