Oil and Gas - - OMAN NEWS -

Pe­tro­leum De­vel­op­ment Oman (PDO) and Glass­Point So­lar have com­pleted con­struc­tion on the first block of the Miraah so­lar plant safely, on sched­ule and on bud­get, and has suc­cess­fully de­liv­ered steam to the Amal West oil­field. Upon com­ple­tion, Miraah will be among the world’s largest so­lar plants de­liv­er­ing 1,021 MW of peak ther­mal en­ergy to gen­er­ate 6,000 tonnes of steam per day used for heavy oil pro­duc­tion.

“The safe and suc­cess­ful de­liv­ery of so­lar steam into our net­work at Amal is a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone for the Miraah project and a ma­jor step to­wards trans­form­ing the en­ergy land­scape in Oman,” said PDO Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Raoul Res­tucci. “So­lar-pow­ered oil pro­duc­tion is a sus­tain­able, long-term so­lu­tion to meet the Sul­tanate’s fu­ture en­ergy de­mand and utilise its nat­u­ral re­sources most ef­fi­ciently.”

Res­tucci added, “Glass­Point, our staff and sub-con­trac­tors have worked tire­lessly for more than 1.5 mil­lion man-hours with­out a Lost Time In­jury, while con­tin­u­ing to drive ef­fi­ciency across all facets of project con­struc­tion and com­mis­sion­ing. Miraah is a real state­ment of in­tent from PDO as we be­gin the tran­si­tion away from an ex­clu­sive fo­cus on oil and gas to be­com­ing a fully-fledged en­ergy com­pany with a greater fo­cus on re­new­ables.”

Glass­Point’s so­lar tech­nol­ogy was specif­i­cally de­signed to har­ness the sun’s en­ergy to gen­er­ate the steam re­quired for ther­mal en­hanced oil re­cov­ery (EOR), seam­lessly in­te­grat­ing into ex­ist­ing oil­field op­er­a­tions. The nat­u­ral gas saved by us­ing Glass­Point’s tech­nol­ogy can be ex­ported or di­rected to­ward higher-value ap­pli­ca­tions such as power gen­er­a­tion or in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment, di­ver­si­fy­ing the econ­omy. Un­like so­lar pan­els that gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity, Glass­Point’s so­lu­tion uses large mir­rors to con­cen­trate sun­light and boil oil­field wa­ter di­rectly into steam. The steam is used for the ex­trac­tion of vis­cous or heavy oil as an al­ter­na­tive to steam gen­er­ated from nat­u­ral gas. Glass­Point’s in­no­va­tion was to bring the mir­rors and other sys­tem com­po­nents in­doors, us­ing a green­house struc­ture to pro­tect from wind and sand com­mon in re­mote oil­fields like Amal. The green­house en­ables ma­jor cost and per­for­mance ad­van­tages com­pared to ex­posed so­lar de­signs, from re­duc­ing over­all ma­te­rial us­age to au­to­mated wash­ing op­er­a­tions.

Glass­Point is build­ing Miraah us­ing a se­quenced con­struc­tion process, whereby the de­vel­op­ment of each green­house-en­closed sys­tem, or “block,” is bro­ken into stan­dard steps de­ployed in a con­tin­u­ous se­quence. The se­quenced ap­proach speeds de­ploy­ment and al­lows each block to be­gin op­er­a­tions as soon as con­struc­tion is com­plete, rather than wait­ing for the whole project to be built. This al­lows PDO to ben­e­fit from so­lar steam now and grad­u­ally ramp-up pro­duc­tion to meet the field’s steam de­mand. PDO and Glass­Point aim to in­te­grate steam into the Amal net­work from three ad­di­tional blocks by the end of the year.

This mile­stone is the lat­est in the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween PDO and Glass­Point that be­gan six years ago when they built the first so­lar EOR project in the Mid­dle East. The 7 MWt pi­lot project proved the ef­fec­tive­ness and cost ef­fi­ciency of Glass­Point’s tech­nol­ogy and lead to sig­nif­i­cant learn­ings and de­sign im­prove­ments as the tech­nol­ogy scales.

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