Africa - Projects

Algeria flag El Merk Central Processing Facility, Algeria

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Project summary

Mar 2009

Start Date

October 2013


Project: El Merk Central Processing Facility

Partners: Sonatrach, Anadarko, Maersk Oil, Eni, ConocoPhillips and Talisman (Algeria) BV

Location: Algeria

Project value: US$2.3 billion

In March 2009, we were awarded the engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning  and start-up of the Central Processing Facility (CPF) installation at El Merk.

The CPF consists of:

  • utilities,
  • inlet separation,
  • two oil trains,
  • associated gas compressors,
  • natural gas liquids
  • and injection gas units.

Valued at approximately US$2.3 billion, the CPF project is considered the ‘jewel’ of the Algerian desert. The site is operated by Groupement Berkine, a joint venture of Sonatrach and the Anadarko Association (comprising Anadarko, Maersk Oil and Eni) on behalf of themselves and the other El Merk partners ConocoPhillips and Talisman (Algeria).

Site purpose

The site was developed to build the surface facilities needed for the exploitation of hydrocarbon liquid reserves from reservoirs in Blocks 208 and 405a in Algeria. The project is located in Block 208, 90 km south of the Sonatrach/Anadarko-operated Hassi Berkine South facility and more than 1,000 km from the coast. 

Planned as the region’s production hub, El Merk  processes an estimated:

  • 98,000 barrels of oil per day
  • 29,000 barrels of condensate per day
  • 31,000 barrels of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) per day
  • together with an NGL train with a nominal capacity of 600 million standard cubic feet per day

The CPF also includes 500 million standard cubic feet of residue and re-injection gas compression and approximately 80,000 barrels per day of produced water treatment and re-injection facilities.

Performance highlights include:

  • first oil was achieved on 15 March 2013
  • the gas dehydration and compression related to oil train 1 was initiated in May 2013
  • the performance test with gas injection was completed successfully ahead of schedule
  • 25 million man-hours without a lost-time incident (LTI) and numerous awards from our client recognising this achievement to be world class.

During construction, more than 1,000 km of electrical cable was laid, along with 1,200 km of instrument cabling, and 225 km of telecom cabling.

Our work in the local community

As part of our commitment to community investment and the development of local skilled workforces, we established a craft training centre at El Merk to qualify local high school graduates in five construction-related work activities,:

  • welding,
  • electrical and instrumentation,
  • piping
  • and mechanical fit up.

This initiative was a great success; the programme trained and qualified approximately 75 people every quarter.

The project has achieved 25 million man-hours without an LTI, and has received numerous awards from our client recognising this achievement to be world class.

George Salibi, Project Director