Key Facts

Name of customer
Leighton Offshore, working for South Oil Company

Fao Peninsula, southern Iraq

Start Date
December 2010

Completion Date
October 2013

Value of project
Initially $76.8 million, subsequently increased by over 50% due to changes in project scope and duration


In 2010, Unaoil was nominated by Leighton Offshore as their subcontractor to perform the high-risk onshore portion of the Iraq Crude Oil Export Expansion Project (ICOEEP). Unaoil was uniquely able to perform this project in a very difficult operational environment. The team had significant experience of onshore pipelines in this type of area as well as experience of working in Iraq and the appetite to work in a high-risk environment, with civil unrest present there at the time. Leighton’s overall client for the project (which included a sizeable offshore portion outside of Unaoil scope of work) was South Oil Company of Iraq (SOC). Foster Wheeler acted as SOC's Project Management Consultant.



Our scope of work included:

  • Installation of 2x48" onshore oil pipelines from Fao terminal to a new beach valve station
  • Installation of fibre optic cables and telecommunication equipment
  • Installation of SCADA/ESD/FDS and other control systems
  • Installation of metering skids      
  • Design and build of a 450-man camp to house staff from Unaoil, Leighton, SOC, and Foster Wheeler as well as various Unaoil and Leighton subcontractors working on the project
  • Local support services including operation and maintenance of the camp facility and local logistics



  • 2010 October - Leighton awarded contract to build ICOEEP
  • 2010 November - Unaoil and other potential subcontractors nominated by Leighton to the PMC Foster Wheeler for confirmation of suitability as subcontractors
  • 2010 December - Unaoil awarded subcontract for onshore portion of the project
  • 2011 June - Unaoil established construction camp in Fao in Southern Iraq to house staff working on ICOEEP from Unaoil, Foster Wheeler, Leighton and SOC 
  • 2012 January - Unaoil completes the onshore portion of the pipeline ahead of schedule
  • 2012 March - Unaoil receives recognition from SOC and Foster Wheeler for its outstanding contribution to EPC safety culture
  • 2012 March - First oil flows through pipeline
  • 2013 May - Unaoil awarded HSE Excellence Gold Award by client for Safety and Quality Performance of ICOEEP Project in achieving 2,000,000 man-hours without lost time incidents
  • 2013 October - Demobilisation begins following completion of Unaoil project scope



Unaoil is proud to have completed its scope without any significant impact, casualties or downtime from the civil unrest that was present in the area at the time. This was due to Unaoil's strong presence on the ground and use of local content where possible.

Also, despite significant delays upstream in delivery of Free Issue Material and Engineering, Unaoil continued to operate the camp at full service and to the highest standards to try to ensure that Iraq's oil export expansion plans would not be adversely impacted.

Other notable challenges overcome by Unaoil included:

  • Clearing of unexploded ordnance: Unaoil performed additional UXO clearing after site was certified as cleared by authorities
  • Lack of security and local infrastructure: Unaoil built a high-specification camp and installed state-of-the-art services
  • Limited local capabilities: Unaoil brought an experienced management team, pipelay contractor and E&I contractor in order to complement local capabilities in civil work and heavy transportation
  • Political disputes, closing border crossings and impacting logistics: We used our strong in-country logistics capability to access alternative routes when required
  • Freight delays: Unaoil resequenced works in order to achieve project milestones and assisted with expediting delivery and clearance of materials.