Two contracts have been awarded in two months for preliminary design on a natural-gas-treatment plant. Calgary, Alberta-based TransCanada Corp. awarded a contract to URS Corp., San Francisco, for a 5-billion-cu-ft-per-day plant in Prudhoe Bay. In February, a BP-ConocoPhillips joint venture tapped Fluor WorleyParsons Arctic Solutions for a similar contract. But only TransCanada has a contract with Alaska to build a North Slope pipeline.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.