South Korea’s Samsung Engineering has taken the top spot in Iraq’s oil and gas projects market with the signing of a $879m contract with Russia’s Gazprom for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of a central processing facility (CPF) at the Badra oil field in southeast Iraq.

The deal was signed by Steve Fludder, Samsung’s senior executive vice-president of marketing and Gazprom Neft’s Badra project director, Alexander Kolomatsky on 5 February.

Samsung will now build the 170,000 barrels-a-day (b/d) CPF, which includes a 200 million cubic-feet-a-day (cf/d) gas separation plant and offsites and utilities within 35 months.

The South Korean firm has waited more than 10 months for the contract after it first emerged as the low bidder for the deal in April 2012, beating rival proposals from the UK’s Petrofac and Italy’s Saipem in a mid-February bid round.

The deal is Samsung’s second in Iraq and takes its total EPC contract award value to almost $2bn. In March 2012, the company was awarded a contract worth about $998m to build early production facilities at the West Qurna Phase-2 oil field for Lukoil, another Russian oil producer working in Iraq. That deal followed a similarly long wait after bids were submitted, something that has become a feature of the Iraq projects market.

With this win, Samsung overtakes Australia’s Leighton Offshore, which had previously been the top oil and gas EPC contractor in Iraq with two contracts worth $1.3bn.