Wood Group-CCC in Iraq’s Majnoon oilfield deal

Shell aims to crank up production at the Majnoon field to 200,000 barrels a day. Picture: Getty

Shell aims to crank up production at the Majnoon field to 200,000 barrels a day. Picture: Getty

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WOOD Group’s Middle Eastern joint venture with Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) is taking on 200 workers after a deal to get one of the world’s biggest oilfields up to full production.

Oil giant Shell has spent the past three years clearing land mines and other explosives from the massive Majnoon oilfield near Basra in war-torn Iraq, as well as building production facilities.

Having made the site safe it has hired Wood Group-CCC, the regional business in which Aberdeen-based Wood Group has a 50 per cent holding, to commission the first phase of the field.

The one-year contract, starting in June, will see Wood Group-CCC provide skilled workers, tools, and test equipment to prepare new production facilities for start-up.

David Buchan, Middle East director for Wood Group’s PSN division, said: “This is a significant contract for Wood Group-CCC and marks our continued expansion across the Middle East. We are currently deploying up to 200 new personnel to service the contract, demonstrating the strength of the firm’s ability to make expertise available to our customers wherever they need it.”

Estimated by the Iraqi government to hold about 38 billion barrels of oil, Majnoon is one of the world’s largest oilfields, with reserves in the same order of magnitude to those of the entire UK North Sea.

It was discovered in 1975 but early efforts to exploit it came to an abrupt halt in 1980 with the start of the Iran-Iraq war, during which the area it was heavily contested.

The Gulf Wars and UN sanctions meant production remained low until Shell and Malaysian peer Petronas were awarded a licence to revamp the Majnoon in late 2009. Shell Iraq Petroleum is the project operator.

Working at a fee rate of $1.39 a barrel, Shell re-opened production from some facilities this month and is investing $1 billion (£644 million) to crank up the output to 200,000 barrels a day by the end of this year.

New production facilities being brought online with the help of Wood Group-CCC include well sites, a central production hub and all build facilities and utilities required to operate the field, including pipelines and infrastructure.

Wood Group said yesterday that the work will employ about 200 personnel, based at the site 70 kilometres from Basra. No value was given for the contract.

Employing more than 3,300 people, Wood Group-CCC brings together the global engineering, operations and maintenance expertise of the Scottish firm’s PSN business with CCC’s engineering and construction capabilities and regional resource base in the Middle East.

This is Wood Group PSN’s second contract in Iraq in the past six months after the company announced a deal to support Norwegian driller DNO in the development of the Tawke field in Kurdistan at the end of last year.

CCC is the largest engineering and construction company in the Middle East region, employing 120,000 people in 43 countries.

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