A single contractor has emerged as the front runner for a critical turnkey contract worth some $2 billion to build the upstream infrastructure for Total’s Tilenga oilfield development in Uganda — a project that has suffered significant delays.

The Tilenga field is the cornerstone of a $16 billion project that aims to export up to 219,000 barrels per day of waxy oil from Uganda to the Tanzanian port of Tanga via the 1443-kilometre, heated East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).