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GlassPoint, Occidental of Oman sign major pact
November 13, 2018 | 2:01 PM
by Times News Service
GlassPoint’s solar energy technology uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight and produce emissions-free steam used to produce oil more sustainably. - Supplied photo
 
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Muscat: GlassPoint Solar and Occidental of Oman on Tuesday announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that could lead to a large solar thermal energy plant, exceeding two gigawatts, at the Mukhaizna oilfield in the Sultanate.



As the lead developer of the proposed project, GlassPoint would deploy its proven solar technology to produce up to 100,000 barrels of solar steam per day. The solar steam would be purchased by Occidental and used to facilitate the production of heavy oil. With preliminary studies complete, engineering work has now commenced to define the project scope and field integration plans.

“As we continue to diversify Oman’s economy and develop the renewable energy sector, we are also identifying ways to save our natural gas resources. Oman’s vast heavy oilfields present one of the largest opportunities to deploy solar energy and conserve gas, which can instead be used to fuel industries and generate power," Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy, Omani Minister of Oil and Gas, said.

"We’re pleased to see this progress between Occidental of Oman and GlassPoint, which can deliver substantial economic and environmental benefits to the Sultanate,” he added.


Operating in Oman for more than 30 years, Occidental of Oman is the largest independent oil producer in the country. At the Mukhaizna field, Occidental of Oman has implemented one of the world’s largest steam flood projects for enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

GlassPoint’s solar steam generators use large mirrors to concentrate sunlight and boil oilfield water into steam. Occidental of Oman would purchase the steam under a long-term off-take agreement, providing a cost-effective, zero-emissions alternative to steam generated using natural gas. The proposed solar project could save more than 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year.

Occidental Petroleum’s global strategy includes active investment in CO2 EOR and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), as well as other emission-reducing technologies. This low emissions energy utilisation project and approach is one aspect being explored and commercialised by Occidental’s Low Carbon Ventures business unit in partnership with asset teams across their global operations. This project will enable technical learning and commercialisation success to promote similar projects in other areas to help reduce Occidental’s global carbon footprint.

“We are excited about working with GlassPoint to enhance our environmental stewardship in Oman and strengthen Occidental’s position in the lower-carbon economy. This is a strategic opportunity for us to tap into solar as a sustainable source of energy in order to minimise the carbon footprint of our operations,” Steve Kelly, President and General Manager of Occidental of Oman, said.

“We’re looking forward to building on our success with another major solar project in Oman. Occidental of Oman’s interest shows the scale of opportunity renewables can play in reducing the energy use and environmental impact of oil production. We’re pleased to work with Occidental of Oman to grow Oman’s solar industry and the global market for solar powered oil production,” Steven Moss, CEO of GlassPoint Solar, said.

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