RSK helping a war-torn country rebuild itself
The Rumaila oilfield in southern Iraq is vast. Through its reserves, buried only 2400 m underground, the supergiant field has the potential to rebuild Iraq’s economy singlehandedly. It covers more than 180,000 ha and its topography is vast and complex: rising steadily from low-lying reclaimed marshland in the north to higher levels in the south.
According to oil and gas industry experts, the oilfield contains an estimated 17 billion barrels of oil. However, years of neglect, war and mismanagement have diminished its vast potential to producing no more than two million barrels a day. However, with proper care and management, the supergiant field could fulfil its potential and rival other global supergiants.
The hydrological features surrounding Rumaila oilfield are problematic. The area has a history of flooding, and the land has been heavily reprofiled for irrigation, political and water resource reasons. The local watercourses comprise natural rivers modified along certain reaches, manmade channels and a series of channels that are dry except for when it rains heavily. RSK completed a flood risk assessment and additional surveys of the field.
Regional teams began a hydrological and hydraulic modelling assessment of the region. It included a full appraisal of flooding from local groundwater and surface water runoff. Using the model, the impact on the proposed infrastructure quantified the risk of flooding. The teams then undertook hydraulic analysis to determine the flood risks and hazards to the site. They combined this with innovative 2D hydraulic modelling software to produce depth, water level and velocity outputs and to simulate rainfall-runoff across the site. From this, the team produced flood maps that represented the flood risks spatially. The maps made it easier for the client to read the mass of data and offered a clear picture of the risk of flooding to the oilfield, particularly to the proposed infrastructure.
RSK specialists offered numerous mitigation options that reduced the likelihood of flooding, including using bunds to intercept water flowing across the floodplain. The client praised the professionalism and efficiency of RSK’s work and implemented some options in its final strategy.