Technip Energies leapfrogs the field

23 November 2023


There has been a surge in market activity for the oil, gas and petrochemicals sector in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) over the past year, with engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors securing $77.6bn-worth of deals between October 2022 and September 2023.

This pace of contract award activity represents a more than doubling of the $37.6bn in awards that were let in the preceding four quarters. It is also reflected in a swelling of the award value that was booked by the top 10 most successful contractors during the period. 

These companies secured contract awards totalling $47.2bn in the past four quarters – also more than double the $21.4bn secured by the top 10 contractors by contract value in the period prior. 

This surge in activity has also resulted in a significant amount of reshuffling of the regional leaders in terms of recently awarded contract values.

Regional leaders

Topping the ranking is France’s Technip Energies, which clinched pole position with a contract value of $7.6bn over the past four quarters – made up principally by its 70 per cent share in the $10bn contract to deliver two new liquefied natural gas (LNG) trains as part of QatarEnergy’s North Field South expansion programme. This was the second-largest single contract in the Mena oil and gas industry to date. 

The remarkable win is a huge boost for the French company, which in the preceding period sat in only 10th place, with awards totalling $922m. 

France’s Technip Energies clinched the top position with a contract value of $7.6bn over the past four quarters

Second in this year’s ranking is Hyundai Engineering & Construction from South Korea, with $7.4bn in contract awards, having risen from sixth position the preceding year with just $1.4bn in awards. The firm notably secured two packages worth $2.5bn each from Satorp – the joint venture of Saudi Aramco and TotalEnergies – for the development of the Amiral complex in Jubail. 

Hyundai E&C also secured a $2.4bn contract with Saudi Aramco for the phase two, package two utilities and off-site facilities at the Jafurah unconventional gas field in the kingdom’s Eastern Province.

India’s Larsen & Toubro Energy Hydrocarbon (LTEH) has maintained a consistent foothold in the ranking, retaining the third spot for the second year running. It did so with a significantly elevated contract award value, however, at $6.9bn over the past four quarters, as compared to $2.4bn in the preceding period. 

LTEH bookings included two more contracts as part of phase two of Aramco’s development of its Jafurah unconventional gas field –  a $2.9bn contract for package one, a gas treatment facility, and a $1bn contract for package three, a gas compression plant. LTEH also secured a $1.2bn deal in Algeria for a hydrocracking unit as part of Sonatrach’s Skikda refinery expansion.

Italy’s Saipem has climbed to fourth place with $6.1bn of awards, where previously it came in seventh place with $1.3bn in awards. Its major contracts included the $4.5bn contract for phase two, scope B of the QatarEnergy LNG North Field Production Sustainability programme, and a $1bn contract for the Bouri gas utilisation project with Libya’s Mellitah Oil & Gas Company.

Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas follows in fifth place, with contracts valued at $5.6bn, rising from ninth place in the previous period, when it secured $1.1bn in awards. The major contract wins in the current period included the $3.6bn contract for Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (Adnoc) Maximising Ethane Recovery and Monetisation (Meram) project in a 50:50 joint venture with the local NMDC Energy, formerly National Petroleum Construction Company. 

Tecnicas Reunidas also secured two contracts with Aramco for work on the Riyas natural gas liquids fractionation plant, which is part of the second expansion phase of Jafurah: a $2.2bn award for package two and a $1bn award for package one.

Rounding out the top 10

Italy’s Maire Tecnimont claims sixth place with contracts totalling $3.6bn, maintaining its presence in the top ranks with an increased award value, but still down from third position in the previous period, when the firm secured contracts worth $2.6bn. 

The contractor’s wins included a $1.3bn deal from a joint venture of QatarEnergy and US firm Chevron Phillips Chemical for the Ras Laffan petrochemicals project and several packages within Satorp’s Amiral complex, totalling $1.92bn. It also secured a $380m contract with Sonatrach for a liquefied petroleum gas extraction plant in Rhourde el-Bagel.

Lebanon’s Consolidated Contractors Company has meanwhile secured the seventh position with contracts valued at $3bn. This was led by its 30 per cent share of the $10bn contract for the QatarEnergy LNG North Field South development and a $400m deal for pipelines as part of Satorp’s Amiral project package 5B.

NMDC Energy has landed in eighth position with contracts worth just under $3bn. Its wins included a 50 per cent share of the $3.6bn contract for Adnoc’s Meram project, working alongside Tecnicas Reunidas, as well as a $614m contract for a pipeline as part of Adnoc’s Estidama project and a $600m contract from Saudi Aramco to lay a pipeline from Zuluf to Safaniya. 

The contractor’s position is nevertheless down from last year, when it ranked first with $4.9bn-worth of awards.

China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corporation secured contracts totalling $2.4bn, earning it ninth place in this year’s ranking. Its wins included a $500m contract for Basra Oil Company’s West Qurna-1 oil field development and a $386m contract for Basra Energy Company’s Mishrif Qurainat oil field development.

UK-based Petrofac rounds off the top 10 with contracts valued at $1.7bn. Wins included a $1bn share of the $1.5bn contract for the Sonatrach Total Entreprise Polymeres joint venture’s propane dehydrogenation polypropylene plant in Arzew, Algeria, and a $700m award for a compressor plant at Habshan as part of Adnoc’s Estidama programme.

Several contractors that were present in last year’s ranking are noticeably absent from this year’s list. These include Japan’s JGC Corporation, which secured no new contracts in the period after posting in second place last year with $4bn in awards. 

US firm McDermott secured $1bn in contract awards this year after placing fourth in the ranking last year with $2.6bn in awards. South Korea’s Samsung Engineering meanwhile secured $1.3bn in awards, slightly up from $1.2bn in the previous period, but not enough to remain in the ranking this year.

Sector and country breakdown

The gas sector emerged as the most lucrative sector in the past four quarters, representing contract awards totalling $33.3bn. This was followed by the chemicals sector, which saw $23.3bn in contract awards, and the oil sector, which recorded $21bn.

In terms of the country of origin for contract awards over the past four quarters, Saudi Arabia led the way, representing awards totalling $23.4bn. This was followed closely by Qatar, with awards worth $20.6bn. 

Iran also witnessed contracts totalling $11.2bn, but this was split between several local contractors in such a way that it prevented any individual EPC contractor from making its mark at a regional level.

The UAE oil, gas and chemicals market meanwhile recorded $9.2bn in contract awards, with several contracts from Adnoc playing a key role in this year’s ranking. 

Algeria, Jordan and Iraq saw total contract awards values of $3.3bn, $3bn and $2.9bn, respectively. Other countries in the region accounted for a further $4bn-worth of EPC contract awards.
John Bambridge
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