JEDDAH – The Gulf region’s increasing focus on offshore oil and gas projects is attracting renewed interest from major global contractors as well as new entrants to the market.

“Outputs from oil and gas projects in the Gulf contribute significantly to the GDPs of countries in the GCC. This new focus on offshore production should be a boost to the continuing economic development of the region,” said Julio Armando de Quesada, Head of Corporate and Investment Banking Group, Mashreq, who have signed up as the Official Financier of the MEED Quality Awards for Projects 2013, in association with Ernst &
Young; as well as category sponsor for the Mashreq Oil & Gas Project of the Year award.

In a recent report, MEED Projects revealed that oil producers are now actively turning offshore in search of oil and gas to boost production, now that advancing technology has significantly brought the costs down. As a result, the region now accounts for a significant proportion of global platform and pipeline contracts, with many of the region’s biggest national oil firms such as Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Corporation (Adnoc) have been increasing investments in offshore exploration and production.

According to the report’s count, citing data from the US’ Baker Hughes, there are currently 45 offshore rig projects, eight more than the same period in 2011 and over previous peak of 43 recorded in 2008. Global engineering specialists such as the US’ McDermott, France’s Technip and Italy’s Saipem; as well as Asian heavyweights such as South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and newcomers such as India’s Larsen & Toubro are among those who received major contract awards for offshore exploration in the region.

Abu Dhabi has emerged as the most active of the Gulf’s offshore markets. Zakum Development Company (Zadco) – an affiliate of Adnoc – is preparing to award a $4 billion contract for early production facilities on the offshore Upper Zakum field.

“With advances in technology bringing efficiencies up and costs of exploration down, we can expect quality standards for projects to be raised even higher,” said Becky Crayman, Head of Awards, MEED Quality Awards for Projects 2013, in association with Ernst & Young, an independent award recognition program that recognizes project excellence in oil & gas projects, as well as all other industry sectors. “In evaluating the outcome of the construction process rather the process itself, we are evaluating the projects solely based on their merits – specifically the quality of nominated projects and their commercial as well as socio-economic impact.”

Last year, Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Shell’s Pearl GTL joint venture project won the highly coveted MEED Quality Project of the Year Award, in association with Ernst & Young as well as the Oil & Gas Project of the Year honors.

Now in its third year, the MEED Quality Awards for Projects, in association with Ernst & Young has become the industry benchmark for projects excellence. It is judged by an independent judging panel consisting of respected key representatives from the projects industry who will determine the winners at the national and regional level of the competition.

Completed projects between January 2011 and December 2012 are eligible to compete in the awards program. Submissions for the 2013 awards program are now being sought in the following categories: Mashreq Oil & Gas Project of the Year, Industrial Project of the Year, Power and Water Desalination Project of the Year, Water Reuse Project of the Year, Leisure and Tourism Project of the Year, Transport Project of the Year, Social Project of the Year, Building Project of the Year, Sustainable Project of the Year and Small Project of the Year.

The deadline for submission of projects is Jan. 31, 2013. Winners will be announced in May 2013.

Source: Zawya