20240122 Petrofac Duqm 001 (1)

Transforming Duqm – an engineering marvel

Duqm Refinery wasn’t just about constructing one of the Middle East’s largest oil refineries; it symbolised Petrofac’s deep-rooted commitment to Oman’s economic and social advancement. The project highlighted the transformation of Duqm from a humble fishing village into a thriving economic zone, with Petrofac playing a pivotal role in this evolution.




Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPCC)

barrels crude oil per day


tonnes of steel used in construction of the tank farm


the largest tanks have a diameter of 60m and height of 30m


personnel on site at peak


million kWh power to be produced by solar panel modules on site


tall flare (largest in Oman)


hectares of land occupied by the site


Mega project, mega impact

Petrofac was awarded the contract in 2018 and, in a joint venture with Samsung Engineering, undertook the Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Commissioning, training and start-up operations for all utilities and offsites.

The refinery is a strategic investment for the Sultanate of Oman and forms the cornerstone of the special economic zone in Duqm (SEZAD), an emerging industrial centre in Oman. The refinery occupies more than 2,000 acres and processes around 230,000 barrels of crude oil per day, equating to nearly a quarter of Oman's entire daily output.

Legacy of innovation

Duqm Refinery is more than an industrial achievement; it's a benchmark for future projects. It exemplifies a successful blend of engineering talent, environmental awareness, and community engagement, setting a new standard for the industry. Project Director, Ian Debattista, said:

“What the team has achieved in turning an empty patch of land on the edge of the Arabian Sea into the giant oil refinery that exists today is simply astounding.”

Engineering marvels

Long before construction begins at site, our projects take shape in our engineering offices and vendor fabrication shops around the world. Our project teams bring incredibly complex engineering packages to life, utilising our expertise to anticipate and overcome any challenges as they arise.

The three modular auxiliary boiler packages (Alpha, Bravo and Charlie) were fabricated and assembled in northern Italy, each ‘Plug and Play’ module weighing more than 550 tonnes. This modular approach was selected to mitigate any challenges in the execution and meet the project’s milestones. A decision that paid dividends considering the COVID-19 pandemic in which the boilers were delivered and installed at site.

The project’s scale is underscored by the construction of over 70 steel tanks in a tank farm spanning 30,000m², using 33,000 tonnes of steel. These tanks are essential for storing water, hydrocarbon, benzene and processed crude oil, the largest of which have a diameter of 60m and a height of 30m. Durability and environmental safety were key aspects of the tank designs and some of the tanks were insulated to limit substance loss, reduce heat losses which in turn lower CO2 emissions and prevent contamination of the environment.

Sustainability first

Minimising environmental impact was a priority on the project, incorporating solar panels across the site to reduce the carbon footprint significantly. These panels occupy over 47,000m2 of surface area and are expected to generate nearly 8 million kWh annually.

Additionally, the refinery boasts the tallest flare in Oman at 180m, designed to minimise environmental risk. Gas that is dispersed through the flare from height minimises its effect on the surrounding environment, so the taller the flare, the less risk it poses to the environment.

Empowering the local community

The refinery's ripple effect on Duqm's economy and community is profound. The project not only transformed the physical landscape, but boosted the population and local businesses, employing over 9,000 personnel at its peak. Our initiative tripled the 10% local employment target set by the client at the start of the project, contributing significantly to Oman's growth. We engaged local subcontractors and offered training programs aimed at local graduates and lower-skilled workers, thereby enhancing the in-country value.

Our engagement with the local community has been recognised by SEZAD, receiving awards for our initiatives, including post-cyclone infrastructure repairs in 2019 after the Hikka cyclone hit the East of Oman. Our contribution to community development, such as the development of sports facilities and organising beach clean-ups, has left a lasting positive impact on Duqm and its residents. At one of the multiple beach cleaning days, around 5,400kg of litter was removed from Nafoon Beach, 45km away from Duqm town.