Dolphin Energy Limited (DEL) awarded the British firm the contract on Monday to supply six mechanical drive industrial Trent compression packages.

Rolls-Royce said it also signed an agreement with DEL in excess of $50m for support and maintenance for the first six years with an option to sign an agreement for up to 30 years. 

"This project marks two very significant firsts," said Jim Finley, Executive Vice President, Business Development for Rolls-Royce Energy.

"For Rolls-Royce, it marks the first installation of the industrial Trent mechanical drive packages. In addition, it is the first time that an international energy network will connect the UAE, Qatar and Oman," he told reporters.

The Rolls-Royce industrial packages will drive natural gas compressors to provide front-end gas boosting for the underwater pipeline, supplying gas from Ras Laffan, Qatar, to Abu Dhabi. 

Deliveries of the compression packages will be made from June to September 2005. 

The contract forms a vital component of the $3.5 billion Dolphin Gas project, involving the production and processing of natural gas from Qatar's North Field and transportation of the dry gas by pipeline to the United Arab Emirates.