UK engineering consultants Mott MacDonald joins UK-Dutch oil major Shell to become the first companies to sign agreements to base their operations at Iraq Energy City, developed by Dubai-based Petronor.

Mott MacDonald signed a lease agreement on 16 May to move their South Iraq operations to the oil field services supply base located near Basra in the south of Iraq.

Earlier in May, Shell awarded Petronor a contract to provide offices and accommodation at Iraq Energy City. Shell and Mott MacDonald did not disclose how many staff they plan to accommodate in the base (MEED 15:5:11).

“As the first main service company to the oil and gas industry in Basra, this is of major importance to us and the industry tends to like to stick together in challenging environments, as we profit from the lower costs, improved security, and unhindered access to both clients and suppliers,” says Julian Taylor, Iraq country manager, Mott MacDonald.

Petronor says it is close to accepting its first tenants at the base, which is located on 300,000 square metres of land leased from state-owned South Oil Company (SOC), near Basra airport. The base will be developed from temporary, secure units, to villas, warehouses and workshops and eventually into permanent structures such as office buildings, hotels and recreational centres with a future capacity for more than 5,000 residents.