Petrofac News 1700X397
01 November 2012

Karan project completion in Saudi Arabia

In early 2009 Petrofac was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for Saudi Aramco’s Karan utilities and cogeneration package. The Karan site is located 150 kilometres northwest of Khobar, where Petrofac’s Saudi operations are located in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom.

The project is an integral part of the Karan gas development programme to expand the Khursaniyah gas plant to accommodate around 1.8 billion standard cubic feet per day of high pressure sour gas from the offshore Karan field. In addition to building the utilities and cogeneration package, we also upgraded the plant’s process controls, electrical systems and support facilities. Imad Shanan, Petrofac Senior Vice President and General Manager of Saudi operations, gives us some insights into his experience over the last three years at Karan.


The Petrofac Group values are the basis for all our behaviours and they have certainly been the guiding principles throughout the execution of this project. For example our commitment to being ‘safe’ has been illustrated by some memorable highlights such as completing more than 11 million man-hours without a lost time injury (LTI). Also, early in the project, we received an ‘excellent’ rating from Saudi Aramco for our remote area urgent care medical facility during their audit of our camp.

We teamed up with our customer on more than one occasion in order to deliver some initiatives such as safe and defensive driving, environmental clean-up days, and Petrofac’s Code of Business Conduct presentations at local workshops.

During this challenging project, with a new customer, we set ourselves the challenge of continuous improvement, day after day. We have strived to demonstrate our commitment to safety, quality, corporate social responsibility, training, environmental awareness and ethical business behaviour, all of which supported our EPC operations.


Appointing local contractors to support us in the delivery of our projects is an important consideration for Petrofac, wherever we work in the world. Karan was no exception.

There is one initiative which we are all very proud of. We involved the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry in our localisation plan. Its training division collaborated with us to deliver targeted work skills training to young Saudi women and men. A total of 311 students were sponsored by Petrofac, all successfully completing the courses on their way to employment with local companies. Petrofac also recruited some of the graduating students to join our Khobar operations office.

Our organisational development team focused on the continuous development of our Saudi engineers and new graduate engineers, both on site and within our offices and through discipline-specific and cross-training courses that were delivered by Petrofac subject matter experts and professors from local universities. We also have a dynamic mentoring programme in place offering technical management skills training inspired by the global model for all of Petrofac’s fresh graduate engineers.

One outstanding success story is our IT Admnistrator, Abdulqader Al-Shehri, who completed the highly-respected UK-based Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) ‘train-the-trainer’ course, and is now set to become internationally certified to deliver training in his field.


The Karan project was awarded in the midst of a major global economic downturn, with very unpredictable market conditions for commodities. As a result, within the context of a lump-sum EPC environment, we maintained focus on being highly responsive and nimble in our strategy and execution. The credit for our success goes to the Petrofac team who supported our efforts.
Finally, in the spirit of continuous improvement, our Saudi operations team is taking advantage of valuable lessons learned from this project as we move forward in the execution of two new In-Kingdom EPC projects.