Dolphin Awards Pipeline Installation Contract to Saipem

Dolphin Energy Limited announced that Saipem S.p.A of Milan, Italy will install its natural gas Export Pipeline between Qatar and the UAE, at a value in excess of $350 million.

Saipem is the successful bidder for Dolphin's engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) award to install the 370-kilometer, 48-inch line. The line pipe has already been ordered from Japan's Mitsui & Company.

On completion in 2006, the Export Pipeline will transport natural gas from Dolphin Energy's processing plant in Qatar's Ras Laffan Industrial City to landfall at Taweelah in the UAE Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Dolphin Energy CEO Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh said that the award represented an essential milestone in the development of the Dolphin Project. "This pipeline is key to our plans, as it will transport valuable gas to our new energy markets in the UAE and subsequently Oman."

He added: "I congratulate Saipem on their carefully-prepared bid. Dolphin looks forward to working closely with the company to ensure maximum efficiency, and minimum environmental disturbance, throughout the contract period."

For Saipem, Chairman Pietro Franco Tali stated: "Saipem has wide experience in large size pipeline installation throughout the world and specifically in the Middle East. For us, this is a highly significant award, due to the contract value and fundamental importance of the project. We are delighted to be working with Dolphin."

To construct the Export Pipeline, some 440,000 tons of steel pipe will be manufactured in Japan and shipped to the Gulf. It will then be coated and laid in a continuous process by Saipem up to a maximum depth of 50 meters.

The award was made in accordance with the recommendations of the Dolphin Tender Committee. Other approved bidders were Allseas ( Switzerland), J Ray McDermott (UAE), NPCC (UAE) and Stolt of France.

On January 12, 2004, Dolphin Energy announced the award of its initial Dolphin Project contracts – for construction of the Ras Laffan processing plant, supply of its compression units and construction of two offshore production platforms respectively.