El Merk Central Processing Facility
In March 2009, Petrofac was awarded the engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning (EPCC) and start-up of the central processing facility (CPF) installation at El Merk. The CPF consists of utilities, inlet separation, two oil trains, associated gas compressors, natural gas liquids and injection gas units.
Valued at approximately US$2.3 billion, the CPF project is considered the ‘jewel’ of the Algerian desert. The site is operated by Groupement Berkine, a joint venture of Sonatrach and the Anadarko Association (comprising Anadarko, Maersk Oil and Eni) on behalf of themselves and the other El Merk partners ConocoPhillips and Talisman (Algeria).
The site was developed to build the surface facilities needed for the exploitation of hydrocarbon liquid reserves from reservoirs in Blocks 208 and 405a in Algeria. The project is located in Block 208, 90 km south of the Sonatrach/Anadarko-operated Hassi Berkine South facility and over 1,000 km from the coast.
Planned as the region’s production hub, El Merk will process an estimated:
- 98,000 barrels of oil per day
- 29,000 barrels of condensate per day
- 31,000 barrels of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) per day
- together with an NGL train with a nominal capacity of 600 million standard cubic feet per day
The CPF will also include 500 million standard cubic feet of residue and re-injection gas compression and approximately 80,000 barrels per day of produced water treatment and re-injection facilities.
The El Merk project has achieved 25 million man-hours without a lost-time incident (LTI), and has received numerous awards from our customer recognising this achievement to be world class.
Five years on and the facility is performing well:
- first oil was achieved on 15 March 2013
- the gas dehydration and compression related to oil train 1 was initiated in May 2013
- the performance test with gas injection was completed successfully in late July, ahead of schedule
During construction, more than 1,000 km of electrical cable was laid, along with 1,200 km of instrument cabling, and 225 km of telecom cabling. A mega project indeed, and proof that we can perform in the most challenging of conditions.
As part of our commitment to community investment and the development of local skilled workforces, we have established a craft training centre at El Merk to qualify local high school graduates in five construction-related work activities, such as welding, electrical and instrumentation, piping and mechanical fit up. This has been a great success, and the programme continues to train and qualify approximately 75 people every quarter.