Malaysia’s Petronas has invited international engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms to bid for an estimated $100m deal to build an oil export pipeline from the Gharraf field in the south of Iraq.

Known as the Gharraf Light Oil Transport System (LOTS), the pipeline will be developed in two phases, a source close to the project tells MEED.

Phase one will be built to cater for oil production from the central processing facility (CPF) at the Badra field, which is currently under construction and should be completed in 2013. Petronas will build a 92-kilometre, 28-inch pipeline from the Gharraf-Badra tie-in area (GBTA) to the Nassiriyah storage depot. The crude will be stored before being sent to the Al-Fao to be pumped to Iraq’s southern oil export terminals.

The pipeline will be a continuation of a 165-km, 24-inch pipeline from Badra, which will be built by Russia’s Gazprom. The EPC contract also includes data communication systems using fibre optic cables and leak detection systems. Petronas has set a 10 July deadline for technical and commercial proposals.

The second phase pipeline will be built to cater for first oil production from the Yamama reservoir of the Gharraf field, which is expected in 2016/2017. Petronas will build a 13-km pipeline from the Gharraf field CPF to the GBTA. This will be tendered at a later stage.

The pipelines will cater for both Badra crude production of 204,000 barrels a day (b/d) and Gharraf production of 80,000 b/d, a total of 284,000 b/d. When construction is completed, the pipeline will use a common operator for both the Badra and Garraf light oil pipelines.

The 1 billion-barrel Gharraf field, located in the Dhi-Qar governate in southern Iraq, was awarded to Petronas and Japan’s Japex as part of Iraq’s second oil field licensing round in December 2009.