Iraq’s State Company for Oil Projects (Scop) is yet to open commercial bids for an estimated $2bn deal to build two crude storage facilities in the south of the country.

Bids were submitted by seven international engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms on 1 October in Baghdad, following a technical bid round in July.

Scop, a subsidiary of the Oil Ministry, had been expected to open the bids in the middle of October, but is now considering possible changes to the project’s scope, according to bidding companies, who include:

  • China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (China)
  • Daewoo Engineering (South Korea)
  • Entrepose (France)
  • Punj Lloyd (India)
  • Saipem (Italy)
  • Toyo Engineering (Japan)

The scheme covers the construction of 29 storage tanks, each with a capacity of 6,000 cubic metres of oil or about 370,000 barrels. Seven of these will be located at the Nasiriyah oil depot and 22 at the Bin Umar oil depot.

While the Nasiriyah project looks likely to proceed, there are concerns the larger Bin Umar scheme may be delayed and its configuration changed, according to a source at one bidding firm.

Any changes are yet to be confirmed by Scop or the Oil Ministry.

Iraq plans to expand its oil storage capacity to 60 million barrels, from the current 6.2 million barrels, with the expansion of its five existing facilities and the construction of five new depots by 2015. Three of these are located in the south of the country, while the K-3 and IT1-A storage depots are in the north of Iraq. When complete, the facilities will give the country the ability to cope with possible outages at its southern export facilities. There are currently only enough tanks to store three to four days’ worth of production.