Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has awarded a $155m contract to Switzerland-based ABB Engineering Technologies Company to design and build a new pipeline across the country, the company said in a 7 June statement.

The project includes the expansion of an existing manifold and the installation of a new 123 kilometre crude oil transit line. The 30-inch diameter transit line will run from KOC’s crude oil gathering centres in northern Kuwait to a storage facility in the south. It will be equipped with pipeline inspection gauges at 15 km intervals, a leak-detection system and metering stations.

ABB will be responsible for the design, engineering, procurement, construction supervision, commissioning and start-up of the new transit line.

The project, which is scheduled for completion in spring 2012 is designed to transport up to 665 thousand barrels of oil a day (b/d). More than half of the oil will come from the newly established Jurassic field in northern Kuwait, according to ABB.

The client, state-owned Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) issued the tender on 1 November last year. The Central Tenders Committee (CTC) met on 19 April to discuss ABB’s price of KD48.35m, which beat proposals from as many as 25 international contractors. Submitted on 31 January, the proposal was some $14m lower than its nearest competitor (MEED 7:2:10).  

Kuwait has an estimated 13 billion barrels of heavy crude oil reserves, located primarily in the north of the country. KOC plans to increase total production capacity to 4 million b/d by 2020 from the current 3 million b/d. It will need to revamp its distribution network to deal with the 1 million b/d increase in production.