Initial Oil Train (IOT) Project
Basra, Iraq  

Owner: ExxonMobil Iraq Ltd.
Lead Design Firm, Civil, Structural and MEP Engineer: Kentz Global Oil & Gas Process Systems —Member of the SNC Lavalin Group
EPC Contractor: ENKA İnşaat ve Sanayi A.Ş.
Key Suppliers: Çimtaş Steel and Pipe; Fjords Processing Middle East; Olive Group FZ-LLC; Al Hilal Al Motaheda Co. General Contracts Ltd.; Fabtech International Ltd.; Accede Impianti Italia S.R.L; Al Fayha Co.; John Zink HC Luxembourg; ITT Goulds Pumps

Iraq’s West Qurna Oil Field near Basra is one of the world’s largest, holding a projected 43 billion barrels of oil. But the ability to get that oil to market had been hampered since the war. Oil provides about 99.7% of Iraq’s foreign exchange earnings. Turkish contractor ENKA was able to deliver this 100,000-barrel-a-day oil train for owner ExxonMobil Iraq despite political instability, disputes with former landowners and safety concerns. The train isn’t just an oil production facility: It includes a unit to separate water, natural gas and oil, and it has five oil storage tanks. ExxonMobil said the initial oil train, along with another new facility, elevates output at West Qurna to 490,000 bpd in compliance with its OPEC agreement. 

ENKA provided ExxonMobil with engineering design, procurement, fabrication, construction, commissioning and start-up work for the oil train. Due to the harsh local conditions, facility components were modularized as much as possible and shipped from overseas for final assembly. ENKA forged relationships with local tribal leaders and former landowners at the outset of construction as a result of disputes about land ownership. During 4½ years of construction, the project team went through a 16-day camp lockdown, a change in the customs duty that temporarily ended material imports and two separate force majeure events due to security concerns requiring evacuations of ExxonMobil staff. 

Most of the design work was done in the United Arab Emirates, and the engineering and construction team included firms from Turkey, the U.S., Canada and Iraq. The labor force on site was 41% Iraqi, and 145 Iraqis were transferred to other ENKA projects in the country after the on-budget oil train was completed. Another 26 Iraqis became skilled workers through the training they received working on the initial oil train.

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