Realizing the world’s largest underground reservoir of refined oil products

ISEA supported a Swedish contractor in managing the construction of an underground storage facility for refined oil products in Saudi Arabia.


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is privileged with a vast amount of oil and gas resources, which have to be refined and stored before use. Sweden is recognized for its knowledge and experience of storing crude oil and refined oil products in large underground caverns. Swedish companies have developed this proven technology for emergency preparedness. KSA expressed a strong interest to utilize and tailor the technology to fit local conditions, i.e. to the environment and climate of the desert, as KSA had no previous experience of storing refined oil products underground.


The KSA authorities assigned the management, design, engineering, construction and commissioning of a large underground oil storage project to a Swedish company. The project was executed by Swedish led top management with European design and engineering subcontractors. The labor workforce came from more than 40 nations and peaked at 15 000 men. The assignment included training and education of more than two thousand KSA employees.


The world’s largest underground reservoir of refined oil products was handed over to KSA Authorities after approximately 20 years from the project start. Through this project the KSA has become self-supplied by refined oil products for a considerable period of time, which is of strategic importance for both civil distribution and supply during times of emergency. Swedish contractors have achieved a good reputation for managing big projects, utilizing the latest technology and performing on a large-scale, which is essential for approaching major upcoming assignments in the Gulf Region.

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