Equinor shock confirmed: Contractor KBR secures hotly contested contract at $9 billion project

Houston-based KBR has confirmed the surprise award of an engineering contract on Equinor’s US$9 billion Bay du Nord project offshore eastern Canada.

Last month, Upstream reported that the US player had secured a front-end engineering and design contract for the topsides of the deep water project’s major floating production, storage, and offloading vessel.

This decision shocked the market and particularly Aker Solutions, KBR’s rival for the prestigious job in Newfoundland & Labrador, which was long considered the frontrunner for the contract.

KBR confirmed both that its Canadian entity, KBR Industrial Canada, has secured a letter of intent — the precursor to a formal contract — for the FEED studies.

The US company — headed by chief executive Stuart Bradie —added that it would execute the workscope jointly with Canadian subcontractor Hatch Ltd, out of St John’s, the provincial capital, Canada and London.

The contract also includes an option to carry out detailed design and procurement management services through to final completion of the FPSO.

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The topsides FEED scope comes on the back of the pre-FEED studies carried out by KBR last year.

A final investment decision on Bay du Nord is expected next year, with first production expected in the late 2020s.

Some of Equinor’s key requirements for the Bay du Nord FPSO are that it has low emissions, will use an onboard combined cycle power system and the latest technology to minimise the number of crew onboard, and maximise digital solutions.

The FPSO is expected to handle about 200,000 barrels per day of oil from a cluster of fields in the Flemish Pass basin, beyond Canada’s exclusive economic zone.