Case studies

Oman flag Kauther depletion compression project, Oman

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Project: engineering, procurement and construction of gas compression system

Client: Petroleum Development Oman

Value: US$415 million

Location: northern Oman

July 2009

Start date

November 2012

End date

In 2009, Petrofac was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Kauther gas field depletion compression (KDC) project in north Oman. The contract was awarded on behalf of the Government of Oman by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), which has been developing the Sultanate’s gas fields on behalf of the government since 1978.

This project followed the successful commissioning and initial operations of the first Kauther gas plant in 2007, which we built on an EPC basis on behalf of PDO.

The Kauther gas plant is operated by PDO, the Sultanate’s major exploration and production company, which accounts for more than 70% of the country’s crude oil production and nearly all of its natural gas supply.

Fast forward, and in May 2012, following three years of commitment and dedication from all the teams involved in the depletion compression project, hydrocarbons were introduced to the plant.

As the Kauther field depletes, the depletion compression facilities will ensure longer term sustainability of the field.

The new facilities comprise:

  • Two depletion compression trains
  • An inlet separation system
  • A condensate handling system
  • New control system
  • Upgraded utilities
  • A complete electrical infrastructure to handle the compressors’ variable frequency drives, with the requisite filters to address the generated harmonics

The scope also involved a combination of greenfield and brownfield activities encompassing significant tie-ins and modification alongside the existing facilities.

Integrated approach

The first Kauther gas plant project was a significant re-entry to Oman for Petrofac. The project provided a unique opportunity for us to harness expertise from our operations and maintenance and training teams as part of an integrated execution approach, and transition this knowledge into the second depletion compression project.

We were also able to bring together many of the engineering resources that had worked on either the initial gas plant project or the depletion compression FEED. The retained knowledge was beneficial to our overall technical delivery as well as strengthening our relationship with PDO.

The project had some of the largest and most complex equipment and material supplied by Petrofac. The depletion compressors had 18MW variable speed drives. The substation building is almost the size of a football pitch and the piping systems are significant in large bore alloys (up to 48") and high wall thickness (up to 40 mm).

Health, Safety, Security and Environmental (HSSE)

It was critical that good HSSE practices were embedded in the mind-set of all involved on the project. The teams, including third parties who worked alongside us, took part in regular reviews, appraisals, assessments and competency training – all of which encouraged a climate of responsible and accountable behaviour.

Given the proximity to a local village, we also carried out driver and passenger safety programmes.

Working locally

Local delivery has always been key to the way we work. Throughout both Kauther projects we focused on maximising the use of local resources at all stages of procurement and construction. We also provided many local employment opportunities to the immediate and surrounding villages.

Training programme

We undertook the planning and delivery of operations and technician training on site, at vendor premises and at associated facilities. Training was customised to cover safety and standard operating procedures specific to Kauther gas plant.

A combination of classroom and on-the-job modules were used to deliver the training. Our in-house team designed all of the supporting manuals, training documents, handouts and presentation materials for the training programme.

Training has been delivered at 23 well sites and control systems, plus three field gathering stations and the gas plant itself. The programme has provided instruction in the use of around 175 pieces of equipment in total.

Our time on the Kauther projects in Oman was a truly enriching experience for our teams who valued and embraced the Omani culture.

Elie Lahoud, Group Managing Director - E&C