Case studies

Kuwait flag Kuwait Oil Company facility upgrade, Kuwait

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Project: Facility upgrade project

Client/partner: Kuwait Oil Company

Location: Kuwait

Project Value: US$825 million

April 2007

Start Date

March 2009

End Date

The facilities modernisation project initiated by Kuwait Oil Company was a project of national importance to Kuwait. This project was intended to improve the operational safety of the existing oil and gas production facilities, as well as to install new facilities in order to enhance the oil and gas production capacities.

The project was successfully completed and the major element of success was the cooperation and team work spirit between KOC, PMC Amec, contractor Petrofac and sub contractor Kharafi.

Abdullah Al Zamami – team leader, major project 2 – Kuwait Oil Company

The upgraded existing facilities were seamlessly integrated with the new production facilities to create a safer and larger production facility. The operational safety enhancement was achieved by a complex series of modifications starting with the replacement and relocation of all underground hydrocarbon lines to above ground, replacement of selected electrical cabling, incorporation of new fire and gas monitoring systems, and incorporation of new emergency shutdown systems.

The new oil production facilities were designed for a significant capacity enhancement of approximately 300,000 barrels per day, and the new gas and condensate recovery systems replaced the existing gas compressors with more efficient compression and condensate recovery units. This project covered seven oil gathering centres (GC) (GCs 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 21 and 23) and two gas booster stations (BS) (BS 140 and 150).

Milestones and achievements

The project has been successfully completed and the facilities progressively taken into production between April 2007 and March 2009. The major highlights of this complex and challenging project were:

  • 26 million lost time injury free man-hours of construction effort in a brownfield environment
  • 5,500 piping tie-ins for integrating the modifications to the existing facilities. This was potentially a very high risk operation, with risks successfully mitigated by a continuous closely regularised process starting from extensive surveys of existing facility interfaces, through to the function testing of completed tie-ins before restart
  • smooth integration of new upgrades and new production facilities with the existing production facilities, with minimum disruption to production
  • using a narrow reinforced earth structure causeway around the process tanks to create an above ground piping corridor, so as to maintain existing underground process piping in operation until commissioning and tie-in of the entire above ground works
  • installation of a new DCS system for the new facilities, and migration of all the existing control loops to the new DCS system. A normally complex operation was further complicated by the absence of reliable documentation on the as-built status of the existing systems
  • maximum utilisation of local in-country resources for manufacturing, and construction
  • rapid stabilisation of production for the upgrades as well as for the new production facilities. In 2011, the facilities projects upgrade which Petrofac completed on the behalf of the Kuwait Oil Company also secured a MEED quality award for projects, winning oil and gas project of the year at National level

In 2011, the facilities upgrade project which Petrofac completed on behalf of the Kuwait Oil Company also secured a MEED quality award for projects, winning oil and gas project of the year at National level.

Key features

For a more tangible quantification of the scope and complexity of the project, the key commodities of the work are listed as follows:

  • number of engineering drawings generated – 17,000
  • construction man-hours at project completion – 26 million
  • concrete volume – 42,000m3
  • structural steel quantity – 8,000 tonnes
  • piping quantity – 1 million inch diameter + 23,000 valves
  • electrical and instrumentation cabling – 1,700 km
  • piping tie-ins between existing and new facilities – 5,500
  • buildings including modification to existing – 11,800 m2
  • reinforcement earth structure – 22,000 m2