Muscat: Despite low oil prices and the Sultanate being in a year of austerity, oil companies in the country are looking to implement Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) methods. Although the new technology is relatively more costly, it is ‘fruitful in the long run,’ according to experts, who addressed the media to announce the forthcoming Oil and Gas West Asia (OGWA) Exhibition and Conference.
Oil and gas companies remain optimistic, regardless of low oil prices, that the OGWA Exhibition and Conference will provide a platform for discussion between experts in the oil and gas industry, both globally and locally, as well as exchange knowledge, expertise and technology to open paths for viable alternatives, such as advanced extraction techniques and technologies, specifically EOR, potential opportunities and new investments in which the Sultanate would benefit in the long run.
EOR is an advanced extraction method which uses three primary techniques: chemical injection, thermal injection and gas injection. This method allows 30-60 per cent or more of the oil to be extracted from its original reservoir compared to only 20-40 per cent using the conventional method.
“The price situation will be formally present in the conference because that is today and it will have an impact on the EOR, because the EOR tends to be more expensive than conventional (methods),” said Sultan Al Shidhani, petroleum engineering manager south, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO).
“Because we are in this situation, most of the organisations are really working hard on how to reduce cost; how to optimise development; how can we do better collaborate through technology development and that will be shared.”
“Why do people travel from long distances and present (research) papers and making expenses while everyone else is looking for cost reduction? It is because of the value they anticipate to get from this type of gathering,” he added.
Salim Al Salmi, resevoir characterisation manager and chief petro physicist, Occidental reassured that while applying EOR methods is expensive it will benefit the future of Oman whether in high or low oil prices.
“Most of these EOR projects are long-term projects and cost is one factor. So trying to cut cost is one area of focus. But giving comfort for investors and other oil operators, EOR could survive low oil prices; this could bring a better future for the Sultanate,” said Al Salmi.
In 2015, the Omani government spent about OMR3.9 billion in investments which is an increase of 9.35 percent on the OMR3.6 billion in 2014.
Al Shidhani said that they have received 431 research papers from 40 countries and 164 companies for the EOR project but only 115 papers from 49 companies and 21 countries were selected while explaining that the criteria for selection is high in order to assure quality. These papers will be discussed in 20 sessions throughout the conference which is organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
OGWA Exhibition and Conference is set to welcome over 300 exhibitors from 16 countries with Italy, Iran and China having the largest pavilions in the history of Omani exhibitions. SME and ICV pavilions, supported by government initiatives, will also be present for the first time.
The exhibition will take place between March 21 and 23 at the Oman International Exhibition Center and the conference will be held on March 20 to 23 parallel to the exhibition at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Seeb.