Oman to become important centre for developing economic and effective enhanced oil recovery
Oman is set to become an important centre for developing economical and effective enhanced oil recovery (EOR), according to Royal Dutch Shell’s Chief Executive Jeroen van der Veer in a viewpoint article in Emerging Oman 2007, the authoritative publication produced by Oxford Business Group (OBG) the UK-based publishing, research and consultancy service.
“Shell recently established an EOR research centre in the sultanate and Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) is undertaking a major EOR project to raise recovery at Harweel as much as fourfold. Another major EOR project, using steam to recover perhaps a billion barrels of oil, is also underway in the Mukhaizna field. This openness to new technology extends across all areas of operations and typifies Oman’s imaginative approach to the development of its natural resources,” says Mr van der Veer.
EOR is vital for the Gulf region, Mr van der Veer points out, because energy demand is growing more quickly here than in any other part of the world.
“We have to learn how to produce increasingly difficult and unconventional resources and to deliver over greater distances to meet the changing needs of consumers,” he said.
“Oman is an example to the world of how this can be done. There’s never been much easy oil or gas here. The country’s geology is complex and its resources can be difficult to produce. For example, at Harweel in the south of the country, there are some of the world’s earliest oil deposits. These salt-encased carbonate reservoirs are very deep, up to 5 km below the surface, with highly variable rock properties.
“Currently, normal production methods can only recover about a tenth of the oil in the ground. Developing economical and EOR techniques, using, heat, gas or chemicals to boost production will be essential. This openness to new technology extends across all areas of operations and typifies Oman’s imaginative approach to the development of its natural resources.”
Mr van der Veer concluded: “I believe that Oman’s long term approach of enabling investment, enhancing technological capabilities, and working in partnership with other countries is the only clear route to success.”