Qatar’s greenfield mega-projectsMarch 7, 2019
Benoit Verdier, Qatar country manager of TechnipFMC, talks to TOGY about the company’s interest in Qatar’s upcoming mega-projects, investment in the country’s brownfields and why TechnipFMC tries to get involved in projects early on. EPC and technology firm TechnipFMC has three business segments: subsea, onshore and offshore, and surface projects.
Do you expect to see works shift from brownfield to greenfield jobs in the North Field?
There are a lot of greenfield mega-projects starting in Qatar within the oil and gas sector. TechnipFMC is interested in the North Field expansion project, which aims to increase LNG production to 110 million tonnes per year, and in the new project to build a world-scale petrochemicals complex at Ras Laffan Industrial City. TechnipFMC has a good track record of key projects in Qatar.
Such mega-projects are complex to execute and require experience and know-how that TechnipFMC has already demonstrated in Qatar. With QAPCO [Qatar Petrochemical Company], Q-Chem [Qatar Chemical Company] and RLOC [Ras Laffan Olefins Company], TechnipFMC has executed the EPC of the three petrochemical plants currently in operation in Qatar. Those petrochemical plants all feature TechnipFMC in-house technology.
In 2001, in a joint venture with Chiyoda [Corporation], we provided the debottlenecking of Qatargas’ first three trains. With 50% additional capacity, the project was the largest LNG train capacity increase in the world to date, and was completed ahead of schedule.
In 2007, we were awarded the Oryx GTL plant, the first GTL plant in the Middle East. Between 2005 and 2010, through our JV we executed the EPC of the world’s six largest LNG trains, which now represent 60% of the current production of LNG in Qatar. We also delivered the AKG2 [Al Khaleej Gas Phase 2] gas treatment plant in the same timeframe.
In 2015, we delivered a new acid gas removal unit as part of the Plateau Maintenance Project to maintain Qatargas 1 LNG production while coping with increases of H2S, CO2 and N2 in the feed gas.
Will attempts to expand brownfield crude production translate into results for engineering and construction companies?
TechnipFMC has been involved in several projects aiming at maintaining production of oil in Qatar, whether onshore in Dukhan or offshore in the North Field, Bul Hanine, Maydan Mahzam, the North and South Domes, or Al Khalij.
All fields in Qatar require brownfield investments, not only for oil production but also for gas, where we are also involved in the conceptual studies of the North Field Production Sustainability offshore project.
Our clients intended several investments for the development of ageing fields before the oil crisis, but in 2014 they were put on hold. Now, we see that such development is resuming at full speed because the deferred investment has led to a decrease in oil production at depleting fields.
To what extent is this market open to innovative technologies?
The market is very open to innovative technologies. Here in Qatar, our experience in designing minimum-facilities platforms coupled with our manufacturing capability for side-by-side Christmas trees has allowed us to propose lightweight platforms that are extremely fit for the shallow water of the Middle East market. The first platform is currently under fabrication.
Furthermore, we are proposing several technological solutions for unmanned platforms, reducing the number of offshore maintenance operations requiring offshore visits. We are also currently involved in an enhanced oil recovery project in Qatar, because we have executed many such projects in the Middle East and have developed a specific technological expertise in this domain.
More generally, our proprietary technologies are well known by our Qatari clients and are very much present here.
How can companies such as TechnipFMC help mitigate costs and avoid adjustments and cost changes during the execution phase?
Our great experience in delivering projects onshore and offshore worldwide, our involvement in the full lifecycle of projects from feasibility to EPC, as well as our exposure to innovative technologies, allows us to help our clients in their cost mitigation efforts.
Our access to all the technologies being developed by the wider TechnipFMC group and to our specialists are also advantages that we bring to our clients when discussing their developments. The earlier we are involved on projects, the better for our clients’ economics because we can influence the cost of a project more during the conceptual study phase than during the EPC phase. For this reason, we are always trying to be involved as early as possible on projects.