PDO solar initiative cuts carbon emission equal to 1,400 cars
May 2, 2017 | 10:11 PM
by Alya Al Harthy / [email protected]
A view of PDO's Amal Oilfield. The Annual Sustainability Report of PDO, Oman’s leading oil development company, details its projects and achievements in 2016. File photo used for illustrative purposes only.

Muscat: Solar panels installed by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) in car parks at Mina Al Fahal in 2016 will save electricity which could power about a thousand homes, according to a report issued by the company.

The Annual Sustainability Report of PDO, Oman’s leading oil development company, details its projects and achievements in 2016. The report highlights PDO’s key achievements and developments over the last year, with regards to oil production and exploration, staff and social development, as well as environmental and safety performance.

According to the report, 2016 witnessed PDO’s highest daily average oil production rate since 2005, at 600,197 barrels per day.

“The year saw strong and consistent production across our oil and gas fields, as well as good new oil performance and recovery of gas production from previously closed-in wells. To achieve this, we had to overcome a number of challenges, such as adverse weather, a major power outage in August-September and a leak on the Main Oil Line near Qarn Alam in February,” the report noted.

Well engineering reached new levels of activity, drilling 644 wells and performing 19,600 well interventions in 2016. Well drilling increased by 12 per cent from 2015, while the number of well interventions rose by 49 per cent in 2016.

The report also highlights the importance of safety for PDO during the year, pointing towards its Goal Zero - no harm to people, environment, and assets. The company is focusing on environmental strides. In 2016, PDO installed thousands of solar panels in car parks at Mina Al Fahal to provide power for key headquarter offices.

“This environmentally-friendly programme will save more than 3.1 million cubic metres of gas per year, enough to provide electricity for almost 1,000 homes. It will also cut carbon dioxide emissions by 6,662 tonnes annually, the equivalent of taking more than 1,400 cars off the road or planting almost 173,000 trees.”

PDO achieved a 21 per cent reduction in its “lost time injury frequency”, down to 0.22 injuries per million man hours worked. However, the performance was marred by three work-related fatalities.

PDO also saw a decline in the number of oil spills, reduction in flaring intensity, and development of a new waste management plan.

“However, we are well aware that more needs to be done, and technology trials, such as the micro-turbine pilot Anzauz, which will convert low pressure flare gas into electricity, offers much promise for the future.”

The report also mentions about PDO’s focus on social development and community enrichment.

“The Banat Oman project, which has been implemented, aimed at offering vocational training and marketing support to low income women. A total of more than 300 women have now been trained in 10 different trades, with their artisan products available in retail outlets across the Sultanate, as well as a new shop in Muscat.”

The report also addressed Omanisation, as PDO targets an 88-90 per cent Omanisation rate by 2020. “At the end of 2016, PDO had 8,789 staff, of which 6,772 were Omanis – the highest in our history. The Omanisation rate was 77 per cent, and the company is expecting this to reach 90 per cent by 2020. There were 935 women on the staff, including 837 Omanis.”

A total of 332 Omanis were hired during the year, and the number of Omani graduates was 1,080. 1,500 Omanis were promoted, with 278 in senior positions (254 men and 24 women).

The report also addresses the important role of women within the company. “Currently, there are 470 Omani women working in technical functions, including petroleum engineering, well engineering, and exploration. The number has nearly doubled in the past five years and tripled since 2006. Moreover, 20 per cent of PDO’s graduates are women, and this is expected to increase in the coming years.”

Regarding grievances, the report documents a small and varied number of complaints in 2016, through PDO’s confidential “blow-the-whistle” hotline. “Four grievances were raised in 2016: two were of a “general nature”, one was “unfounded”, and the other was referred to the relevant Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP) for resolution. Two were related to “harassment,” one of which was which was “founded”. However, the relevant sub-contractor staff member left to pursue further education. The other case was referred to the relevant HRBP for resolution. There were no instances of human rights violations.”

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