عقد تحت رعاية وزارة النفط والغاز، سلطنة عمان

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Dr Ali Al Gheithy, Petroleum Engineering Function Director at Petroleum Development Oman and Chairman of World Heavy Oil Congress & Exhibition 2018 spoke exclusively to Pipeline Magazine about the important role heavy oil plays in Oman 

speech_balloon_question.png Why is heavy oil an important issue?

Heavy oil resources are significantly large over the world- for Oman they form about 40 percent of the resource base. For technological and economical reasons they remain less exploited over the years. However, as the easy oil is depleting and demand continues to grow, we can only fill the gap with heavy oil. So, heavy oil will play a bigger role in the future to cover this widening gap between supply and demand.

speech_balloon_question.png What is PDO doing in the heavy oil sphere?

We are doing quite a lot in this space. We continue to increase production from heavy oil by expanding developments as well as bringing new fi fields into production. In about fi ve years some 30 percent of PDO’s total daily production will be from heavy oil. This will take place by expanding the successful thermal operation in thermally assisted GOGD (Gas Oil Gravity Drainage) we have in Qarn-Alam in analogue carbonate fields in North Oman and expanding the successful conventional thermal operation (Steam flood and CSS) in Amal areas (CSS in Thayfut, Amin, Amal South East; Follow up phases of Amal Steam project) .

Additionally, on miscible: we have a major RHIP project coming on stream sometime in 2019, and follow up of other projects in the pipeline (Buduor mini flood). In chemicals, we are expanding Marmul polymer (Phase3); follow up of successful ASP pilot is ongoing; Nimr Area (pilot is also ongoing). It is also good to note that we are also pushing the technology forward by using solar to generate steam for heavy oil production.  Heavy oil exploitation is energy intensive and long term sustainability is very important. The rising energy efficiency challenge can be made visible in 2 simple metrics: (1) the rising (electrical) power demand and (2) the rising quantities of produced water.

  • Quality Water sources are limited
  • Water treatment (pre- & post injection) is costly
  • Water injection is energy intensive
  • Water disposal has to be planned correctly to avoid aquifer contamination 

PDO has been driving energy efficiency initiatives with considerable success, either through power plant upscaling and/or replacement and improved water flood management. With more heavy oil recovery on the horizon, PDO is exploring all options to further drive energy efficiency forward. We are also busy developing a skilled workforce base in line with industry needs. PDO works closely with various stakeholders e.g. external and local training institutes as well as JIP and R&D