Middle East - Projects

Iraq flag Iraq Crude Oil Export Expansion Project, Iraq

Image gallery
Project summary

November 2012

Start date


End date

Client: Basra Oil Company (BOC)


Petrofac is providing operations and maintenance (O&M) services on the Iraq Crude Oil Export Expansion Project offshore facilities, 60 km off the Al Fao Peninsula in Southern Iraq. The facilities include:

  • Four single point moorings (SPMs)
  • A central metering and maintenance platform (CMMP)
  • Subsea pipelines
  • Additional SPM stored and maintained in Hamriyah, Sharjah, UAE

Operations and maintenance milestones

Through our operations and maintenance activities, we’re working to increase the export of crude oil whilst maintaining a focus on safe project execution and operational excellence. To date, we’ve achieved:

  • 2.2 billion barrels of oil exported between November 2012 and September 2017
  • 1.7 million average barrels per day exported, increased from 0.5 million at start of contract (50% of Iraq’s crude oil export passes through)
  • 7.45 million man-hours LTI free, achieved 27 September 2017
  • More than 1,100 tankers loaded and sailed between November 2012 and September 2017
  • 220 personnel and 14 vessels operating offshore
  • Contract extended three times

Additional scope activities

When Petrofac took over operations activities following the EPC stage, we went beyond our O&M responsibility to rectify a number of identified design issues:

Tanker rail hose redesign: The tanker rail hoses on the SPMs were kinking, which was a major integrity concern with a potential for hose failure. We worked closely with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and SBM to redesign the hoses which have now been in operation for three years.

Solar charging capability: Power failure on the solar panels powering the SPMs stopped export of over 3 million bbls of oil. We put in place a system to monitor and charge solar batteries to prevent further interruption to loading operation. We also worked with the OEM to redesign the solar panel and supervised the trial fit on a spare SPM onshore. Since these changes, there have been no interruptions and power consumption.

Modification to HPU hydraulic header: We mobilised engineering and commissioning personnel to site and undertook home office engineering support post-handover to ensure export continuity.

We carried out hose installation and commissioning work which allowed SPM-1 to commence export. This increased BOC’s export and SPM availability.

Early take-over of the CMMP: We also took over the CMMP at short notice and ahead of schedule. It was transitioned to a fiscal metering state by working with EPC contactors and OEMs to complete numerous punch-list items and modifications without interruption to export.

Innovative solutions

In 2016, we conducted a further non-core scope which involved the lifting and transferring of a critical equipment spare worth US$20 million. The 300 ton SPM, which took two years to construct and commission, was to be moved and stored as BOC’s only spare. With the traditional approach of using a 600+ ton crane being both time consuming and ‘high risk’, we proposed an alternative approach using a synchro-lift traditionally used for ships.

This approach had never been done before, as SPM’s are not designed to be lifted from the bottom. We carried out complex engineering studies and collaborated with manufacturer SBM and two third parties to ensure all risks were assessed. The lift and transfer was completed successfully; it was deemed by all to be a highly innovative solution which reduced the cost of the operation by 65% and the schedule from four weeks to four days. It also set a new standard for lifting SPMs.