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Oman to host World Heavy Oil Congress

MUSCAT, JUNE 24 - This year’s edition of the World Heavy Oil Congress & Exhibition — a prestigious global energy forum — will take place in Muscat in September, underscoring the increasingly important contribution of heavy oil to Oman’s long-term strategy for sustaining oil production.

The three-day event, which runs from September 3-5, 2018, is backed by Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas and supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and GlassPoint. Complementing the conference is a three-day international exhibition where businesses will showcase the heavy oil industry’s latest products, technology and services.

In the Sultanate, heavy oil accounts for roughly 40 per cent of the country’s crude oil resources, with majority-government owned PDO, among other operators, looking to harness this resource to sustain oil production over the long-term.

“Heavy oil plays a very important role within our hydrocarbon mix,” said Dr Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas. “Oman has maturing fields and light oil and gas has been explored and produced.

Over two decades ago, we turned to exploring our unconventional resources. Oman has five active heavy oil fields and has achieved remarkable success with its enhanced oil recovery (EOR) programmes. We have innovated and invested in new technologies to explore this unconventional oil. Our hydrocarbon landscape sees all four major enhanced oil recovery techniques in execution. We also use solar energy to support EOR in the Amal heavy oil field,” the Minister told Pipeline magazine in comments published ahead of the September forum.

The World Heavy Oil Congress, according to Dr Al Rumhy, will serve as an important platform for the exchange of experience between Oman, already a well-established player in the heavy oil segment of the industry, and producers worldwide.

“We are always open to new ideas in Oman. It is through collaboration and cooperation that we will be able to foster growth and opportunity within our industry and drive not just progress but in-country value. We are pleased to host this event and look forward to welcoming everyone to Muscat this September,” the leading industry publication quoted the minister as stating.

According to Dr Ali al Gheithy, Petroleum Engineering Function Director at PDO and Chairman of World Heavy Oil Congress & Exhibition 2018, around 30 per cent of PDO’s daily output of crude will come from heavy oil within the next five years.

“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),” Dr Al Gheithy told Pipeline magazine.

Also due to come on stream in 2019 is the Rabab Harweel Integrated Project (RHIP) based on miscible gas injection, while Phase 3 of the Marmul polymer based on chemical EOR is under way as well. Additionally, PDO is making headway with the Marmul Alkaline Surfactant Polymer (ASP) pilot and the Nimr Area pilot as well. Besides, the national oil company is pressing ahead with plans for the use of solar to generate steam for heavy oil production, he stated.

“Oman is already exploiting a lot of its heavy oil resources and this trend will continue and expand in the future. Oman has ongoing full field developments of heavy oil using both thermal and chemical (polymer flood) processes — this is a significant part of Oman’s daily production. So, we have several areas of our experiences to share as well as learn from all our visitors who will be attending,” the official added.

Conrad Prabhu

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