Firms are preparing to submit bids at the end of October for the front-end engineering and design (Feed) of the delayed seawater treatment facility in Iraq, a critical piece of infrastructure for the country’s oil production ambitions.

Known as the Common Seawater Supply Facility (CSSF) project, the deal covers the construction of a giant seawater treatment facility and pipelines. Worth an estimated total of $10bn, the scheme will supply treated water vital for the country’s oil fields to maintain reservoir pressure.

While bids for the treatment facility Feed are due at the end of October, the design tender for the pipelines which will carry the water to the oil fields is expected to be launched in November, sources close to the project tell MEED.

US engineering consultants, CH2M Hill was selected for the scheme’s project management consultancy contract in October 2012, but the project officially commenced in April. Since then, work carried out by the previous consultants, the US’ Fluor and UK’s Mott MacDonald has now been completed.

New surveys contracts are expected to be awarded in October or November. The majority of land acquisition has also been completed by state-owned South Oil Company (SOC).

The design schedule is tight. The project is now almost two years behind schedule. The Oil Ministry hopes to launch engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tenders in the first half of 2014, with and award expected before the end of the year.

Much of Iraq’s future production is expected to come from the deeper, more difficult Mishrif and Yamama reservoirs,which will require gas or water injection. The CSSF will be built in a phases, with the first providing 6.7 million barrels a day (b/d) of water for five fields; Zubair, Rumaila, West Qurna-1, West Qurna-2 and Majnoon.

Further phases will increase supplies to these fields as well as to the Gharraf, Halfaya and Missan oil fields. Depending on Iraq’s targeted oil production levels, the total demand for water could reach 12.5 million b/d.

Projected water demand
Oil field Operator (Country) Phase 1 water capacity (million b/d) Full capacity (million b/d)
Zubair Eni (Italy) 1.20 2.10
Rumaila BP (UK) 1.00 1.00
West Qurna-1 ExxonMobil (US) 2.00 3.00
West Qurna-2 Lukoil (Russia) 1.50 2.10
Majnoon Shell (UK-Dutch) 1.00 1.60
Gharraf Petronas (Malaysia)   0.45
Missan China National Offshore Oil Company (China)   1.30
Halfaya Petrochina (China)   0.75
Additonal     0.3
Total   6.70 12.50
Source: CH2M Hill