Iraq’s Oil Ministry has announced the award of several contracts worth a total of almost $900m for oil storage and transmission projects in the south of the country.

China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau was awarded a $667m engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deal to build an oil storage depot near the Nasiriyah oil field.

Germany’s Ruhrpumpen was awarded a $160m contract for EPC work on four turbo pumping stations in the south of Iraq, while Jordan-based Rosco picked up a $63m deal to install power generating units at the Fao depot in the Basra province.

Oil storage and export infrastructure is considered to be a major bottleneck to increasing crude exports from the south of Iraq.

Executives from the UK’s BP, which is operating the Rumaila field in Basra, told the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (Adipec) conference in Abu Dhabi on 10 November that the lack of oil storage capacity in Iraq has been hindering potential production increases.

“Iraq has much less than seven days’ storage, which is much lower than most countries have, and it hinders your ability to maximise production,” said Michael Townshend, leader of BP operations in the Middle East, at the conference.