Contract with oil giant to manage production systems worldwide would give EC Harris an international presence.

EC Harris is in talks with oil and gas company Shell over a massive deal with that would involve the quantity surveyor expanding its reach into the USA and managing the energy production processes.

The deal, expected to be signed within the next few days, is for EC Harris to maintain oil and gas production systems across 40 Shell sites worldwide. It is understood that the firm will move beyond providing QS services and into monitoring and improving the production process itself.

A market source said that he was expecting the deal to be finalised “imminently”.

It is understood that under the terms of the deal, EC Harris will use technological systems to compare the oil and gas production processes used on sites in different countries. It will identify a series

of best practice guidelines that should be employed for every task in the oil and gas industry. EC Harris will then help Shell to implement the most efficient processes throughout its sites.

It is understood that EC Harris currently does not have a presence in several of the countries covered by the agreement, and is set to establish offices in these regions. These include the USA, where Building understands the company is hoping to establish a permanent presence on the back of the deal.

The company is understood to have an continuing strategy of setting up in other countries off the back of its clients. These bases are not usually seen as a temporary measure.

The move comes as Shell announced plans to invest £340m in the Libyan gas industry by refurbishing a liquefied natural gas plant on the Libyan coast.

It is unclear whether EC Harris would become involved in work on this site.

An EC Harris spokesperson said that the company could not comment on any market speculation over a deal.