Oct. 9 (Bloomberg) — Fluor Corp., the biggest publicly traded U.S. construction and engineering company, won a $1 billion contract to expand gas processing facilities in the Persian Gulf benefiting from a regional construction boom.
The work is for the Habshan Gas Complex in the United Arab Emirates and will finish in the middle of 2008, Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Ltd., or Gasco as it’s also known, said in a statement received by e-mail. The majority Abu Dhabi government-owned company didn’t give any more details.
Fluor, Technip SA and other international oil services companies are competing for business in the Persian Gulf region where oil producers including Saudi Arabia are using record revenue from oil sales to boost oil and gas production capacity, at a cost of more than $50 billion.
“Foreign companies are reaping the benefit as countries in the region earn record oil revenue, and invest in expanding their oil and gas capacity,” said Kamel al-Harami, former president of Kuwait’s Q8 brand of gas stations in Europe and Thailand, said by telephone from Kuwait City.
In the six Arab monarchies that surround the Persian Gulf, oil earnings will increase 25 percent to $250 billion this year, according to London-based Standard Chartered, a bank that generates about two-thirds of its income in Asia.
Gasco, which is responsible for processing Abu Dhabi’s onshore natural gas reserves, is spending about $4 billion on projects to expand facilities during the next three years, including Habshan, according to its Web site. Abu Dhabi, with a population of 1.6 million, is the world’s fourth-largest holder of oil reserves.
Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., the world’s largest shipbuilder, last week won $1.2 billion order to expand an oil export facility in Kuwait. The work, which includes work for Fluor, is the biggest contract state-owned Kuwait Oil Co. has yet awarded, the local Kuwait Times reported on Oct. 4.
Fluor Corp. last month reported a second-quarter net loss after recording $65 million in costs related to a lawsuit.
Royal Dutch Shell Group, Europe’s second-biggest oil company, and Total SA, Europe’s biggest oil refiner, each own 15 percent of 27-year-old Gasco, according to the company’s Web site. It handles 4 billion cubic feet of gas a day, and 140,000 barrels-a-day of gas condensate, a light oil associated with gas production.
Habshan is one of four plants in the Abu Dhabi desert that processes gas, which is then used to power electricity generating and water desalination plants.
Gas demand in the U.A.E. could quadruple to 13.5 billion cubic feet a day during the next 25 years as the country builds more gas-fueled power plants and develops domestic supply networks to cope with economic growth, Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, chief executive of Dolphin Energy, told reporters at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi in October.