The company plans to mobilize the drilling rigs and make them ready for drilling operations for the North Field Expansion project commencing from January 2020.

Qatar-based Gulf Drilling International (GDI) has bagged contracts to deliver six of the eight rigs, while the US firm Northern Offshore Drilling Operations will be supplying the other two offshore rigs.

The contracts awarded to the companies are in the range of 2-4 years and come with exercisable options to extend the drilling program duration if needed.

According to Qatar Petroleum, the drilling program to be undertaken by the eight rigs is a key component of the North Field Expansion project to boost the liquefied natural gas (LNG) production capacity of Qatar from 77 million tons per annum (mtpa) to 110 mtpa.

The expansion project will involve the drilling and completion of 80 new wells using eight wellhead platform locations.

Qatar Petroleum president and CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said: “This award package is the latest in a series of steps in Qatar Petroleum’s plan to execute the North Field Expansion project. We are pleased to have our National Drilling company GDI take part in this important project.”

Recently, Qatar Petroleum initiated LNG ship construction program for 100 and more new LNG carriers to meet the shipping requirements of the North Field Expansion project.

An ‘invitation to tender’ has been issued by the company seeking bids from interested parties for the reservation of ship construction capacity required for the project’s LNG carrier fleet.

The tender also includes shipping requirements for the LNG volumes that will be purchased and offtaken by Ocean LNG, Qatar Petroleum’s joint venture with ExxonMobil, from the Golden Pass LNG export project in the US.

The LNG ship building program will be executed by Qatargas, a subsidiary of Qatar Petroleum.

Qatar Petroleum had recently given an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract to McDermott International for the offshore facilities of the North Field Expansion project.