BP Oman’s success in unlocking the commercial potential of Khazzan’s tight-gas reserves in Block 61 bodes well for the development of the Sultanate’s sizable unconventional gas resources, according to a top official of the Ministry of Oil & Gas. Salim bin Nasser al Aufi (pictured), Ministry Under-Secretary, stressed however that tight gas plays — typically involving dense reservoir rocks with low permeability that require massive hydraulic fraccing at depths of around 5 kilometres — have the subject of ongoing investor interest.
“We have seen now with Khazzan and with the apparent success of Ghazeer, which is an extension (of BP Oman’s project), is an eye-opener for a lot of companies that tight gas development in Oman is doable,” Al Aufi said. “The industry is mature enough to supply whatever is needed and support tight gas development. Human capital is also available to support whatever development is required. So I don’t see any hiccups with regard to tight gas development wherever we have it in Oman.”
The Under-Secretary made the comments at a press briefing on Tuesday, hosted jointly with BP Oman and Oman Oil E&P, both shareholders in the $16 billion Khazzan / Ghazeer development in Block 61, to announce the successful start of production from the Khazzan field.
Examples of investment interest in tight gas plays also abound within Petroleum Development Oman’s (PDO) Block 6 licence. “We have numerous examples of tight gas development in PDO with Khulud being one example of what the company is developing quite successfully so far.”
Khulud — PDO’s first tight gas project located in the Yibal-Fahud area — is also one of the deepest tight gas accumulations in the world, requiring capital intensive innovative and complex drilling, completion and hydraulic fracturing practices.
Tight gas is also the predominant play in Block 47 — one of four blocks being offered by the ministry as part of the Oman Licensing Round 2017. “Tight gas has been attracting enough attention,” said the Under-Secretary. “We are getting interest in terms of understanding what the block is about, and evaluating its potential,” he pointed out, noting that interest is also coming from Oman Oil E&P and its partners.
“So tight gas development is not really an issue. I don’t think any investor has raised tight gas development as a constraint — neither from an investment point of view, nor from a technical point of view, or even from an industry or even human capital resources points of view. I’m quite confident that we will progress with tight gas development as and when there is an opportunity to do so.”