This order is among the largest LNG deals secured by Baker Hughes in the past five years, the Houston-headquartered company said

US oil and gas industry services provider Baker Hughes has won a contract to provide multiple main refrigerant compressors (MRCs) for the first phase of Qatar’s estimated $22bn-plus North Field liquefied natural gas (LNG) expansion programme, also known as the ‘North Field East (NFE)’ project.

This order is among the largest LNG deals secured by Baker Hughes in the past five years, the Houston-headquartered company said.

The NFE project will feature the latest compression technology to reduce 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per train each year without any reduction in LNG production, representing roughly 5% decrease versus previous technologies.

The compression trains will also be produced using the latest manufacturing techniques, minimising raw material and emission-intensive processes to reduce CO2 emissions during production by up to 10%.

Each MRC train will consist of three frame 9E DLN ultra low NOx gas turbines and six centrifugal compressors across four LNG mega trains for a total scope of supply of 12 gas turbines to drive 24 centrifugal compressors.

Packaging, manufacturing and testing of the gas turbine/compressor trains will take place at Baker Hughes’ facilities in Florence and Massa, Italy.

The order has been placed by the megaproject’s operator Qatargas, a subsidiary of state-owned Qatar Petroleum (QP).

North Field Expansion

It was recently reported that three consortiums of contractors have submitted bids for the main package of the NFE phase 1 project, which entails building the four main LNG mega trains.

QP plans to reclaim its spot as the world’s biggest LNG exporter, after it was unseated by Australia late last year.

The state enterprise has undertaken the NFE masterplan, which calls for increasing LNG production from 77.5 million tonnes a year (t/y) currently to 126 million t/y, by increasing gas production from the massive North Field offshore gas repository in the Gulf’s waters, a portion of which QP shares with Iran.

The significant target of raising LNG output by almost 64 per cent is to be achieved through the addition of six LNG trains, with an average capacity of 7.8 million t/y each, in two phases until 2027. There will be an interval of about six months between the commissioning of each train.

QP kick-started the NFE project in September 2018, aiming to increase LNG production to 110 million t/y with the addition of four trains by 2024. The NFE phase 1 project is also known as the North Field East project.

In November last year, QP announced the second phase of the NFE project, to further raise LNG output to 126 million t/y by 2027 with two more LNG trains. Phase 2 is also referred to as the North Field South project.

NFE phase 1 will receive about 6.4 billion cubic feet a day of gas from the North Field’s southern sector. In addition to an approximate LNG output of 32 million t/y, phase 1 will produce 4,000 tonnes a day (t/d) of ethane as feedstock for an upcoming petrochemicals development, 260,000 barrels a day of condensates, 11,000 t/d of liquefied petroleum gas and 20 t/d of helium.

This article is published by MEED, the world’s leading source of business intelligence about the Middle East. MEED provides exclusive news, data and analysis on the Middle East every day. For access to MEED’s Middle East business intelligence, subscribe here.