South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction completed commissioning and started production on 28 March on a new crude oil gathering centre in Kuwait some six months ahead of schedule. It was due to begin operations on 28 September.

The 165,000 barrel a day (b/d) gathering centre, known as GC-24 is at the Sabriya field in the north of the country.

The project involved the design and rehabilitation of a crude oil gathering centre damaged in the 1990-91 Gulf War, along with flowlines, feeder networks, pumping stations and compressors.

The plant will now run for month, before it is officially certified by Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), says a source close to the project.

KOC awarded the KD 180m ($623m) crude oil gathering deal in March 2007 (MEED 16:2:07).

The project is part of Kuwait’s plans to increase crude oil production to 4 million b/d by 2020, tapping into its significant reserves of heavy oil.

Kuwait has an estimated 13 billion barrels of heavy crude oil reserves, located primarily in the north of the country. KOC originally targeted heavy oil production of 900,000 b/d by 2020, but the state-run company has subsequently cut its target to only 250,000 b/d, according to sources in Kuwait.