After a four-month delay, India’s Dodsal has finalised an estimated $100m deal with UK-Dutch oil major Shell and state-owned South Oil Company (SOC) to build a crude oil pipeline connecting the Majnoon field in the south of Iraq to oil depots at the Fao port on the Gulf coast.

A source close to the project tells MEED a contract has now been signed and the company’s workforce has now been mobilised.

Dodsal beat rival proposals from India’s Punj Lloyd and Italy’s Saipem among others when bids were submitted in February 2011 (MEED 15:6:11) .

The 32-inch diameter, 74-kilometre pipeline forms part of the first phase of development at the12.58 billion-barrel oil field, which is expected to be completed in 2012, according to a source close to the project.

Shell is developing the field in consortium with Malaysia’s Petronas. The partners plan to increase production to 1.8 million barrels a day (b/d) from approximately 50,000 b/d currently.

The first phase of the expansion is scheduled between middle of 2011 and December 2012, and aims to produce 175,000 b/d. This will then rise to reach the targeted 1.8 million b/d between 2012 and 2017.