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Operated by Qatar Petroleum, Halul Island is located around 80 kilometers northeast of the city of Doha and serves as the crude oil export terminal for Qatar marine crude oil produced from offshore oilfields.
Until the middle of the 20th Century, the island was used as a shelter by fishermen during storms.Sailors and pearls divers also used the island as a resting station during their long voyages in the Gulf collecting pearls.
In the mid 1950s, with the drastic increase in oil exploration and production in territorial waters around Halul the importance of the island increased and attention was given to its usage as a loading terminal for vessels transporting tools and equipment needed for exploration and drilling operations.
In the early 1960s the importance of Halul Island further increased with the start of oil production from the offshore oilfields in Qatar territorial waters close to the island.Eventually, Halul became a loading terminal for crude production from those fields.
Preliminary infrastructure was developed between 1964 and 1966.
The island is hilly, rising to an elevation of 202 feet. Halul harbor is located on the southern side of the island, and is used by supply boats that support operations.
Most employees work a seven-day shift schedule, followed by to seven days rest. All employees are transported to and from their work location by helicopter and the island is provided with a heliport and aircraft emergency landing strip.
Qatar Emiri Navy and Coast Guard have bases at Halul, and they are also equipped with speedboats for guarding the vital offshore installations.
Terminal & Crude Oil Export Operations
- Importing of crude oil from Idd El Shargi /Maydan Mahzam /Bul Hanine /Al-Khaleej Al-Karkara fields to Halul storage tanks by subsea pipelines and if required from Al-Shaheen field by tankers
- Disposal of formation water associated with crude oil to aquifers.
- Blending of different grades of crude oil to meet export specifications.
- Exporting of the blended crude oil to tankers
- Running and monitoring of different utilities/facilities that support terminal operations, such as desalination units, power generation package, fuel gas plants, and fuel gas compressors.
- Coordinate and provide specialized services to Occidental Petroleum and Total as they operate their formation water handling facility and process areas respectively on the Halul Island.
- Control materials as per oil industry standards.
- Maintenance of all supporting equipment on Halul including vehicles.
Halul Island is home to 11 crude oil floating roof storage tanks fabricated from carbon steel with a total capacity of 5 million barrels. All tanks are provided with an advanced fire protection foam system, and tank shell cooling system.
Exported crude oil is water freed (dehydrated) so that associated formation water with crude oil is separated in the receiving tanks and disposed through a formation water disposal plant to re-inject the formation water back to the aquifer, avoiding possible sea pollution.
The different grades of dehydrated crude oils ranging from 27 API to 40 API are blended to range from 32-33 API to meet crude oil export specifications.
Crude oil is exported to tankers through two mooring systems, the loading of two tankers simultaneously. Crude oil is pumped to the tankers through a powerful pumping station with a maximum -pumping rate of 75,000 barrels per hour.
Utilities & Services
Power generation, as there is no external electric power transmission from Qatar’s national network to the island, Halul terminal is self sufficient in its electric power requirements. The capacity of the power generation package is 43 megawatts generated by nine turbo generators, operated with sour/sweet gas fuel and diesel.
Desalination plants and potable water system
Services water is desalinated seawater produced through two units with a capacity of 400 cubic meters per day. Water is stored in fixed roof tanks with a capacity of 3,270 cubic meters.
An additional potable water supply is imported from Ras Laffan Industrial City by QP boats.
Sweet fuel gas plant
Sweet gas means H2S- free natural gas considered the first fuel option for power generation. . It is produced from the Al-Khaleej field operated by TOTAL.
Two fuel gas compressors, each with a capacity of 8 million cubic feet per day (mcf/d), are available for compressing the sweet gas and feeding it to power generators.
Sour fuel gas plant
Sour gas means natural gas that contains a certain percentage of H2S. It is considered as the secondary fuel option for power generation. It is delivered to Halul from Maydan Mahzam field by sub-sea pipeline. The gas plant has been upgraded to stabilize up to 25 mcf/d of gas.
Diesel fuel system
Diesel fuel is delivered to Halul Island from Ras Laffan Industrial City by QP supply boats and stored in fixed roof diesel storage tanks with capacity of 2.5 million liters.
Diesel fuel is considered as the third and last fuel option for power generation package. It is the sole fuel option for all vehicles and marine craft on Halul Island.
Fire fighting systems
Seawater is the main fire-fighting agent on Halul Island. Seawater is pumped at a total capacity of 2,400 cubic meters per hour.
Carbon dioxide and foam systems are provided to cover machines and crude oil storage tanks. Also different types of fire extinguishers are distributed on selected locations based on applications type.
Competent dedicated crews are available around the clock in the firehouse to operate the firefighting system, which is equipped with firewater trucks and other special equipment.
Incineration plant for waste disposal
As QP is committed to keep the environment, pristine, waste incineration units are constructed and able to incinerate up to four tons of Halul and other offshore production stations waste per day.
Waste water treatment plant
A gray water plant with a of capacity of 200 cubic meters per day has been commissioned and is catering to plants irrigation.
Mini nitrogen plant
A mini nitrogen maker plant has been commissioned and supplying the critical industrial and process area for low pressure utility purposes and a facility to fill under high pressure the utility transportable cylinders to extend the use to the a rounded off shore stations.
As per MARPOL 73/78 Conventions, the Arabian Gulf including Halul Island is categorized to be a Special Area. Halul authorities ensure strict compliance with international regulations relating to the pollution of the sea by oil and exercise every precaution to prevent such pollution. A high degree of vigilance is exercised by Halul Port Authorities. Oil dispersant chemicals and other related equipment concerning oil pollution are stored at Halul to fight any spillages and Halul will be the center of command for efforts tackling any pollution from offshore operations.
Marine and wild life
The protection and preservation of natural resources is high priority at island. Wild life is an important component of the island’s ecosystem and QP encourages the residents to adopt measures enabling it to flourish.
Halul is a habitat for a herd of mountain goats, estimated to number around 80 from the original six brought by ship to the island in 1963. There are also 38 species of birds and a variety of marine life. Hundreds of seabirds take shelter on the island during the winter season.
An arrangement is made with the Ministry of Environment to provide assistance to QP to maintain the wild life on the island and in environmental conservation projects.
Turtle nesting sites are being planned and efforts are being made to protect the birds, plants and fish in the area. To enhance greenery and landscaping, a variety of flowering plants, trees and shrubs are being planted. As part of a new strategy for tree plantation, QP has planted more than 400 trees with high salt tolerance.