The UK’s Gulf Keystone Petroleum has released a tender for the construction of an estimated $200m oil export pipeline in the semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region of Iraq.

Firms have been asked to submit bids for site construction and installation for a 36-inch diameter pipeline running 122 kilometres, which is expected to connect the Shaikan field to Iraq’s northern oil export pipeline to Turkey by 1 July, according to sources close to the project.

The early stages for field development will comprise several small early production facilities (EPFs) producing export-quality crude oil up to 100,000 barrels a day (b/d). The later full field development will comprise a series of oil-gathering stations routing oil to major processing facilities with about 400,000 b/d total throughput capacity.

The crude oil export system from the Shaikan area will comprise a pumping station at the proposed Shaikan-2  EPF, a 114km export pipeline to tie-in to the Iraq-Turkey export pipeline at Faysh Khabur, along with a second booster pumping station.

The pumping stations will also have facilities for the storage of a quantity of crude oil to enable operations to continue should there be a temporary production shutdown.

The Shaikan block is situated about 85 kilometres to the north west of Irbil covering an area of 283 square kilometres. Gulf Keystone has a 51 per cent interest in the Shaikan block, which could contain more than 4 billion barrels of recoverable reserves. The company hopes to bring the field on stream within three years, with ambitious plans to ramp production up to 500,000 b/d by the end of 2016.