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Oman holds significant potential for CCUS projects: Oxy

Mitigation of routine flare, GHG emissions and methane leaks is a key priority.
Mitigation of routine flare, GHG emissions and methane leaks is a key priority.
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MUSCAT, APRIL 3


Oxy Oman, a key player in the country’s upstream energy sector, says it is continuing to press ahead with a number of initiatives to help achieve its Net Zero goals across its expansive operations in the Sultanate of Oman.


Notable is a strategy to unlock opportunities for investment in Carbon Capture, Storage & Utilisation (CCUS) – a core focus area in its energy transition vision – in partnership with majority state-owned gas pipeline operator OQ Gas Networks (OQGN).


Reaffirming this commitment in its latest 2023 Climate Report, the wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy) commented: “Oman also has significant potential for CCUS projects. In November 2023, Oxy signed a Memorandum of Understanding with OQ Gas Networks SAOC, the sole transporter of natural gas in Oman, to jointly study the development of potential CCUS projects in Oman in conjunction with Oxy's enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects, which could also support the further development of Oman's hydrogen industry.”


That MoU commits the two sides to exchanging knowledge and technical expertise aimed at developing strategies to enable the deployment of CCUS projects in Oman in line with the national strategic direction. Envisioned are initiatives for carbon capture and the transport of carbon dioxide to Oxy Oman’s production assets for EOR purposes.


A separate MoU signed on the occasion also commits Oxy Oman to collaborating in a Ministry-led effort towards the formulation of a CCUS and Blue Hydrogen Policy & Regulatory Framework Terms of Reference (CCUS TOR). Key stakeholders across the government and the Oil & Gas industry are participating in this initiative as well.


Oxy’s latest Climate Report also lists successes in its broader drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), notably by reducing routine flaring. “Our international operations expect to reach Zero Routine Flaring (ZRF) well ahead of the World Bank’s 2030 target. Oxy implemented major gas compression and recycling projects in Oman in 2022, and successfully commissioned a new compressor in 2023 to significantly reduce flaring,” it noted.


Additionally, with a goal to detect and monitor potential leaks of methane – a potent greenhouse gas – Oxy says it has leveraged its satellite-based monitoring programmes to provide weekly coverage for its Oman operations.


“In 2022, we expanded our leak detection and repair programme to Oman, training our staff on Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) technology and putting these cameras to work augmenting routine operator inspections and investigating the source and cause of emissions identified during periodic satellite-based surveys,” it stated, adding that scores of ground-based sensors have been installed as well.


In terms of upstream hydrocarbon assets, Oxy Oman is one of the biggest players in the E&P sector with working interests in a total of 8 concessions. It is the operator of Block 9, Block 27, Block 53 (Mukhaizna Field), Block 62 and Block 65 and has additional interests in Blocks 30, 51 and 72, which are in the exploration phase.


In 2023, Oxy Oman’s share of production was 66 Mboe/d (million barrels of oil equivalent per day). One of its biggest assets is Block 9, which has produced over 789 million gross barrels since the beginning of its operation through successful exploration, continuous drilling improvements and EOR projects, according to the company.


Also notable is the Mukhaizna Field in Block 53, which features a major pattern steam flood project for EOR that utilizes some of the largest mechanical vapour compressors ever built. Since assuming operations in the Mukhaizna Field in 2005, Oxy has drilled close to 3,600 new wells and has produced over 607 million gross barrels.


Capital invested by Oxy across all of its Oman assets in 2023 totalled $374 million. It included the cost of drilling 97 wells and executing facilities projects to support development and EOR activities.


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