PDO picks US firm for solar EOR system
Muscat, August 4, 2011
Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), the national oil company of Oman, has selected US-based GlassPoint Solar to build a 7 MW solar enhanced oil recovery (EOR) system at an existing thermal EOR project in southern Oman.
The goal of solar EOR is to reduce the amount of natural gas burned for thermal EOR, releasing gas for higher value applications, including power generation, desalination, industrial development and export.
“After extensively researching solar EOR solutions, we’ve identified GlassPoint as the most promising technology for this pilot” said Dr Syham Bentouati, PDO Corporate Technology advisor.
“GlassPoint’s solar steam generators have the potential to release valuable natural gas for use in higher-value applications within the Sultanate.”
The solar EOR facility will use concentrated thermal energy from the sun to produce low-cost, emission-free steam that will be fed directly into PDO’s existing steam distribution network.
Spanning more than four acres, the GlassPoint system will produce 11 tons of high temperature (312C), high pressure (1,450 psi) steam per hour. The completed project will be 27 times larger than the GlassPoint solar EOR system installed at Berry Petroleum’s 21Z oil field in Kern County, in the US state of California.
Built specifically to withstand the harsh environmental conditions of the Gulf region, GlassPoint’s unique single transit trough (STT) technology encloses lightweight reflective mirrors inside a glasshouse structure to protect the system from dirt, dust, sand, and humidity.
In sunny regions, GlassPoint’s solution can reduce the amount of natural gas used for EOR by up to 80 per cent.
“It is an honor to be selected as the solar EOR solution for PDO, the preeminent leader in enhanced oil recovery techniques in the region,” said Rod MacGregor, GlassPoint CEO and president.
“As part of our commitment to maintain a long-term presence in the Sultanate we have established a local company that will hire Omani professionals and help spread knowledge of state-of-the-art solar technology throughout the Sultanate,” he added.
Steamflooding is a well-proven and effective EOR technique, but it requires massive amounts of natural gas to generate steam. Gas scarcity throughout the Middle East puts the region’s EOR operations in direct competition with industrial development. Oman, specifically, has experienced a surge of economic growth and industrial development in the past two decades, drawing the country’s gas reserves to higher value applications.
Using solar instead of gas for EOR would enable other gas dependent industries to continue to flourish. – TradeArabia News Service