Construction of new crude oil pipelines between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia on track for completion by end of 2017

Posted on 8th June 2015

The work on the new crude oil pipelines between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia is progressing well with the completion of front-end engineering and design last year and the project will be ready by the end of 2017, said a report.

On completion, these new pipelines will be able to deliver up to 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to Bapco, reported The Gulf Daily News (GDN), citing the energy minister.

Dr Abdulhussain Mirza told parliament, in writing, that the new network, which will be operational in the first quarter of 2018, will replace the existing land pipelines between Bapco and Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Dr Mirza said an agreement with the winning contractor will be signed in August, according to tradearabia news reports.

"The existing network will be removed and the route will be cancelled, but we have to test the new network first to ensure there are no technical faults," he said.

The GDN had reported in January that the new 30-inch diameter, 115 kilometres-long pipeline will run onshore for 74 kilometres, with the remaining 42 kilometres being sub-sea.

"We expect to have the new network opened in the first quarter of 2018, and dismantling of the existing pipelines is expected to begin in the second half of 2018, which will depend on contractors that will be selected," stated the minister.

"The new network will give us up to 350,000 barrels per day from Saudi Arabia that will reach up to 400,000 depending on flexibility, which is a significant increase from the current 230,000 daily barrels transferred from Aramco," he said.

The minister was responding to a question by MP Khalifa Al Ghanim on project updates, which will be discussed during parliament's weekly session on Tuesday.

An Aramco official told the GDN last year that the cost of the project is estimated at US$ 350 million.

The front-end engineering and design of the pipeline was completed last year. It was done by WorleyParsons of Australia.

The pipeline is a key prerequisite for Bapco's planned Sitra refinery expansion up to 500,000 barrels per day total capacity, which is estimated to cost up to US$ 6 billion.

Meanwhile, parliament is set to vote on a proposal on Tuesday to have four specialised dentistry centres, one in each of Bahrain's four governorates.

Parliament's services committee has recommended the proposal, but said that equipment and furniture in dentistry sections at health centres could be moved there instead of forcing the government to shoulder additional expenses.

The Health Ministry said in its meeting with the committee last week that under its strategy to develop the dentistry sector it has opened 16 specialised clinics in health centres across Bahrain to reduce waiting lists and provide better services.

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