Muscat, Oman

Petroleum Development Oman is the major exploration and production company in the Sultanate. It accounts for about 70% of the country's crude-oil production and nearly all of its natural-gas supply. The Company is owned by the Government of Oman , the Shell Group , Total and Partex . Gas fields and processing plants are operated by PDO exclusively on behalf of the Government. Wikipedia.

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News Article | February 23, 2017

BAKERSFIELD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GlassPoint Solar, the leading supplier of solar for the oil and gas industry, today announced two new appointments to accelerate its projects in California. Tunde Deru joins GlassPoint as Director of Sales, Americas, and Jeffrey Kennedy as Senior Director of Project Finance. GlassPoint’s solar technology powers oilfield operations, reducing a field’s production costs and carbon emissions. In 2011, GlassPoint unveiled its first commercial project at Berry Petroleum’s 21Z lease in Kern County, California. Following the success of the pilot project, GlassPoint scaled its technology overseas in Oman and is currently constructing Miraah, a landmark project with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). Once complete, Miraah will produce over one gigawatt of peak thermal energy, making it one of the world’s largest solar plants of any kind. “GlassPoint is growing its presence in California to deliver large-scale solar oilfield projects that will generate thousands of local energy jobs while cutting carbon emissions,” said Sanjeev Kumar, GlassPoint Senior Vice President of Project Development, North America. “In today’s challenging operating environment, producers are seeking innovative solutions, including GlassPoint’s solar technology, to improve oilfield economics and reduce their carbon footprint.” Deru joins GlassPoint’s office in Bakersfield, California from LINN Energy (formerly Berry Petroleum), where he was first introduced to GlassPoint’s technology and successful pilot. He most recently served as the Technical Team Lead for Major Projects and previously as the Project Manager for the company’s Diatomite Asset team. Prior to that, he was with Bakersfield’s Process Unlimited (ProU), which was acquired by Stantec. “I joined Berry Petroleum shortly after GlassPoint’s pilot was commissioned and kept a close eye on it throughout the years as it demonstrated its reliability on the oilfield. I’m confident that GlassPoint’s proven solar technology, made in California and deployed around the world, can help move Bakersfield’s oil industry forward,” said Deru. Kennedy brings to GlassPoint over 20 years of expertise in project finance, corporate finance, and strategy and management. Most recently, Kennedy was a Director in Project Finance at SunPower, where he raised more than $1.4 billion in debt, tax equity and cash equity for SunPower’s domestic utility-scale solar projects. Prior to that, Kennedy spent eight years at McKinsey & Co. in China. Kennedy is based in GlassPoint’s headquarters in Fremont, California. “I am excited to join an organization that is leading deployment of solar for the oil and gas industry, an enormous untapped market to scale renewable energy,” said Kennedy. GlassPoint’s solar technology provides the lowest-cost energy for extracting heavy oil, which accounts for half of California’s crude oil production. Heavy oil is produced by injecting steam in to the reservoir to heat the oil so it can be pumped to the surface. By harnessing the sun to generate steam for oil extraction, GlassPoint enables producers to reduce operating costs, lower emissions and create local jobs. GlassPoint Solar is the leading supplier of solar to the oil and gas industry. The global oil and gas industry consumes an amount of energy equal to 10% of its own production, making it one of the biggest markets for renewable energy. Operating worldwide from the Middle East to California, GlassPoint’s enclosed trough technology delivers the lowest cost energy to power oilfield operations. By harnessing sunshine, instead of burning natural gas or other fuels, GlassPoint helps oil producers reduce operating expenses while significantly cutting greenhouse gas emissions. GlassPoint is one of the fastest-growing solar companies in the world with more than one gigawatt of solar oilfield projects under construction. The World Economic Forum recently recognized GlassPoint as a 2016 Technology Pioneer for its role in enabling more economical and sustainable oil production.

News Article | October 28, 2016

Three US-based Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) startups are now making the leap to gigawatt-scale CSP projects at the global level. Two — SolarReserve and BrightSource Energy — were recipients of Department of Energy federal support through the Loan Guarantee Program and subsequent ARPA-E awards for R&D that helped them refine their innovative technologies. The third, Glasspoint Solar, took a different approach. Santa Monica–based SolarReserve has just announced its gigawatt-scale Sandstone Energy 10X (10-tower) project in Nevada, a 2 gigawatt (GW), $5 billion CSP project expected online in 2021. At 2 GW (2,000 MW) Sandstone will have 20 times the capacity of its current 110 MW Crescent Dunes project. This raises dispatchable solar to the scale of the Hoover Dam, Nevada’s other ambitious gigawatt-scale renewable generation. But the Sandstone Energy project is not even the first gigawatt-scale CSP project that SolarReserve has announced this year — it’s actually the third. In May: SolarReserve signed MOUs in China to develop 2 GW of CSP towers in a joint partnership with two large generators in China, including the Shenhua Group, China’s largest coal company. (Other than the solar-harvesting heliostat field, a CSP plant is identical to any other thermal plant in its “back end” power block, so there are many opportunities to apply coal-plant building expertise to CSP construction.) In September: SolarReserve proposed an 800 MW, six tower CSP project at Port Augusta in Australia, where a coal plant closing has left locals rooting for this CSP proposal to replace those coal plant jobs in an unusual example of reverse-NIMBYism. In October: Sandstone Energy is the third gigawatt-scale CSP project announced by SolarReserve. Sandstone would export solar energy to the California grid from the vast deserts of Nevada. The scale of the change has massive implications for clean energy storage. Sandstone will be, as SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith put it, “all about storage.” SolarReserve’s technology, developed in California, combines solar harvesting with cost-effective thermal energy storage in molten salt tanks. (See how CSP can make solar dispatchable any time.) SolarReserve’s initial 110 MW Crescent Dunes project included 10 hours of storage, 1,100 MWh daily. Redstone — its second CSP project in South Africa — has 1,200 MWh of daily storage. Sandstone will dwarf not just SolarReserve’s previous CSP energy storage capacity, but also what has been touted as the largest battery on the US grid, which will add only 400 MWh. Sandstone will have 20,000 MWh of storage. The AES battery that was bid into SCE’s storage tender in 2015 is due online in 2021, at the same time as SolarReserve’s Sandstone project. The AES battery is much touted as “the world’s largest storage project” but is clearly much less than Sandstone’s 20,000 MWh — just 100 MW for 4 hours, or 400 MWh. Smith expects that the price for the dispatchable, anytime solar generated by Sandstone would be under 10 cents per kWh, and now that Crescent Dunes is operating, his company has plenty of debt and equity financing to choose from. At this point, his team is narrowing down to one of two sites in Nye County with access to transmission over the border, with an eye on resolving the “duck curve” in the California market. Interestingly, this incredible jump to the gigawatt-scale CSP in SolarReserve’s projects this year is mirrored by another US CSP company, Glasspoint Solar. Fremont-based Glasspoint is now constructing its 1 GW CSP project, Miraah (mirror in Arabic) to extract the last of the oil from under the sands of Oman in the Middle East, using solar-generated steam for “enhanced oil recovery” (EOR). Prior to Miraah, Glasspoint had built a tiny 7 MW pilot to demonstrate the concept. Glasspoint’s astounding gigawatt-scale CSP jump is from 7 MW to 1,000 MW. Glasspoint had made a decision early on to bypass the electricity market altogether, with its lengthy permitting and regulatory requirements, and use CSP simply to make steam for industries. The strategy was to specialize at first in the oil industry, rather than in providing district heating or greenhouse heating for agriculture, because the oil industry can pay from their “healthy balance sheet and deep pockets.” (Obviously, the balance sheet is not so healthy today, so maybe other applications are in the future.) The 1 GW project for Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) at Amal West oil field will cost a mere $600 million — a much lower cost than CSP with the power block needed for using CSP for electricity — and will enable solar EOR at half the cost of gas. Here’s what makes Glasspoint’s technology so much cheaper than gas and also cheaper than electricity-generating CSP: There is actually no power block at all. No turbines, no heat exchangers, just mirrors to focus the sunlight on to pipes to carry the boiling water and create steam. While any fossil fuel has to be burned in order to boil water in a power block to make steam, in Mirrah, it is just the passive action of the sunlight reflected and focused by the parabolic trough onto the pipes that is sufficient to boil the water in the pipes to create steam, which is then injected into the oil wells to push out the last dregs of oil. Higher steam temperatures are needed for electricity generation, but the 310°F steam Glasspoint makes with no power block is perfectly adequate for EOR. The Miraah project comprises 36 independent, standalone, 50,000 square meter greenhouses that can be deployed as single units or in multiples. Because the parabolic troughs are sheltered inside the greenhouses, they don’t need to withstand corrosive sand or high winds. So they are just 10% of the weight of regular parabolic troughs, which makes them cheaper. Glasspoint also saves money by putting the super light parabolic troughs inside standard commercial greenhouses. Standard robotic cleaners also clean the exterior glass at night to keep it at optimal clarity. “One of the reasons we’re so excited about this project is now that we’re on the tipping point, we’re on the right side of the curve; velocity is going to deliver manufacturing that will drive ongoing cost reductions, which is then going to open these other markets,” Glasspoint VP of Business Development, John O’Donnell told CleanTechnica. Since Glasspoint based its business plan on selling “a product, not a project” to the richest industry in the world, it had no need for US government support to get started, but it has since been underwritten by the Oman government. BrightSource Energy is also now scaling up to gigawatt-scale CSP — working with China. Its 810 MW Delingha CSP project is less of a jump for BrightSource, however, as its first CSP project for grid electricity, Ivanpah, was already a three-tower CSP project at nearly 400 MW (392 MW). After a shaky start, Ivanpah is now quietly delivering its contracted electricity to the California grid. Like SolarReserve, BrightSource was selected by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) to contribute to its very ambitious plans to rapidly deploy 10 GW of CSP with storage by 2021. China’s NEA has first commissioned 1 GW of pilots. BrightSource’s Delingha CSP tower was one of 20 projects chosen by the NEA  to participate in the pilot program. The pilot projects comprising the first gigawatt will receive an initially higher tariff to jumpstart the development of a CSP industrial supply chain in China. Just one of six 135 MW towers that will make up the Huanghe Qinghai Delingha Solar Thermal Power Generation Project (an 810 MW CSP project in the Qinghai province) is to be in the pilot. Unlike at Ivanpah, a direct steam CSP tower project without storage, Delingha will include molten salt storage modeled on the technology proved at the BrightSource demonstration site in Israel. California did not require that the first CSP projects in the US include the cheap thermal storage that is the best argument for tower technology, but China is learning from those first projects and is requiring storage in all of the projects. By 2021, China plans 10 GW of CSP. Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store!   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

Selden P.A.,University of Kansas | Selden P.A.,Natural History Museum in London | Huys R.,Natural History Museum in London | Stephenson M.H.,British Geological Survey | And 2 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2010

Copepod crustaceans are extremely abundant but, because of their small size and fragility, they fossilize poorly. Their fossil record consists of one Cretaceous (c. 115 Ma) parasite and a few Miocene (c. 14 Ma) fossils. In this paper, we describe abundant crustacean fragments, including copepods, from a single bitumen clast in a glacial diamictite of late Carboniferous age (c. 303 Ma) from eastern Oman. Geochemistry identifies the source of the bitumen as an oilfield some 100-300 km to the southwest, which is consistent with an ice flow direction from glacial striae. The bitumen likely originated as an oil seep into a subglacial lake. This find extends the fossil record of copepods by some 188 Ma, and of free-living forms by 289 Ma. The copepods include evidence of the extant family Canthocamptidae, believed to have colonized fresh water in Pangaea during Carboniferous times. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Al-Kindi M.H.,Petroleum Development Oman | Richard P.D.,Petroleum Development Oman
Geological Society Special Publication | Year: 2014

The subsurface structural styles vary across Oman. Understanding this diversity has a strong impact on optimizing hydrocarbon exploration and production. This work is an attempt to summarize the main structural features that characterize the reservoir types in different tectonic domains in Oman in order to provide structural constraints on the interpretation of subsurface data, particularly in areas of poor data coverage or quality. In the South Oman Salt Basin, salt halokinesis dominated the deformation style and the orientation of local stresses. This has resulted in a tortuous framework of faults and folds. During the Palaeozoic, simultaneous differential loading of overlying sediments and salt dissolution were the main deformation mechanisms. The regional stresses are more defined in north Oman. Two structural orientations are observed within the Fahud and Ghaba Salt Basins:NW-SE and NE-SW. The first was formed during Late Cretaceous time, whereas the second developed during the Late Cenozoic. Pre-existing faults were reactivated in both tectonic episodes. The deformation within the north Oman salt basins is localized above pre-existing faults. Outside the salt basins, in the Lekhwair and Makarem highs, the faults mainly trend NW-SE. These tend to be uniformly distributed throughout the basins and have uniform orientation, throw and vertical continuity. © The Geological Society of London 2014.

Al-Harrasi O.H.,University of Bristol | Al-Harrasi O.H.,Petroleum Development Oman | Kendall J.-M.,University of Bristol | Chapman M.,University of Edinburgh
Geophysical Journal International | Year: 2011

The presence of fractures in hydrocarbon reservoirs can enhance porosity and permeability, and consequently increase production. The use of seismic anisotropy to characterize fracture systems has gained much interest in the last two decades. However, estimating fracture sizes from observations of seismic anisotropy has not been possible. Recent work has shown that frequency-dependent anisotropy (FDA) is very sensitive to the length-scale of the causative mechanism for the anisotropy. In this study, we observe FDA in a microseismic data set acquired from a carbonate gas field in Oman. The frequency-dependent shear wave anisotropy observations are modelled using a poroelastic model, which considers fluid communication between grain size pore spaces and larger scale fractures. A grid search is performed over fracture parameters (radius, density and strike) to find the model that best fits the real data. The results show that fracture size varies from the microscale within the shale cap rocks, to the metre-scale within the gas reservoir, to the centimetre-scale within the non-producing part of the carbonate formation. The lateral variation in fracture density agrees with previous conclusions from ordinary shear wave splitting (SWS) analysis. Cumulatively, the results show the potential for characterizing fracture systems using observations of FDA. © 2011 The Authors Geophysical Journal International © 2011 RAS.

Sanchez F.,Petroleum Development Oman | Al-Harthy M.H.,Sultan Qaboos University
Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering | Year: 2011

In today's volatile economy and uncertain drilling environment, managers are encouraged to reduce well cost and time and have implemented Casing-while-Drilling (CwD) to improve operational excellence. Risk analysis is another valid tool that can be used to improve drilling operations. This paper discusses CwD as a new technology and how its benefits can be strengthened by including risk analysis as a complementary technique. A modeling approach is presented to demonstrate how risk analysis can be applied to CwD programs and to discuss the main concerns a well planner must address to achieve a successful drilling program. The integration of both CwD and risk analysis will add value to the overall excellence of the well operation. Very little work has been done on this integration, and the hope is that this approach will be a standard practice in the future. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Kathrada M.,Petroleum Development Oman
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Reservoir Characterisation and Simulation Conference and Exhibition, RCSC 2015 | Year: 2015

An integration study on a complex system of several sour oil and gas-condensate fields based in the south of Oman has been conducted. Sour components are removed from the sales gas stream with the resultant concentrated acid gas being reinjected into the reservoirs. Acid gas is highly miscible and improves ultimate recovery from the reservoir. Hence it is imperative to model the separation and injection of this acid gas accurately. The system is further complicated in that there are two surface plants with different reservoirs flowing into them leading to mixing of fluids. Tracking these fluids with time requires a completely integrated model. To this end subsurface reservoir simulation models, the pipeline production and injection networks and the surface facilities have been linked in a closed loop. The objective of the model is for long term forecasting and development optimisation. It is also a useful diagnostic tool in debottlenecking the system and identifying areas of process improvement. Such large scale detailed complex integration studies can be very time consuming. Getting all the correct data from the respective stakeholders, overcoming software limitations, troubleshooting and optimizing various elements within the integrated model all make for an arduous task. The final result though is a model with all the working elements of the system that stakeholders can modify and interrogate on the whole to better plan and optimize the cluster development from both a sub-surface and surface perspective. Copyright 2015, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), one of the leading oil and gas companies in the Middle East has implemented Intergraph Smart™ Data Validator and Intergraph® SmartPlant® Enterprise for Owner Operators to improve engineering information manag...

News Article | February 27, 2017

Oil supermajor Shell is looking to integrate renewables into its operations across sub-Saharan Africa, a senior company official said. Shell’s new business development manager for the region, Tayo Ariyo, urged the wider oil and gas industry to invest in renewables “as a means of providing access to energy in remote locations”. “As an industry we must focus on developing lower carbon solutions, and we must rapidly invest in renewables, like solar, hydro and wind,” said Ariyo. “This will require the development of innovative new partnerships and business models that seamlessly integrate renewables into the energy mix. “The sort of project we should be doing more of in Africa is what Shell currently has in Oman – a hybrid gas-solar project that Shell implemented in the Amal oilfield,” she said during a speech at International Petroleum Week in London. In 2012, Shell invested in GlassPoint Solar, a US company that uses solar-thermal technology to aid recovery of hard-to-extract oil deposits. GlassPoint’s thermal enhanced oil recovery (EOR) system is designed to produce the steam needed to help get at heavy oil that is too thick to be pumped to the surface using conventional techniques. A 7MW pilot of the system was first deployed by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) at a site in the Middle Eastern sultanate. PDO later unveiled plans for the giant 1.02GW Miraah solar-thermal plant that was designed to aid oil extraction at the Amal field from 2017. “Gas use was reduced by 80% in the oilfield activity, which means we could use what we saved somewhere else,” said Ariyo. Now Shell is eyeing similar projects to power up its African oil projects, although Ariyo gave no details about where and when this technology could be implemented. She said: “Gas and renewables is the ideal partnership to address the challenge brought on by increased energy demand. In order to have success, we need new trusted partnerships between governments and industry in order to ensure access to energy is a reality for Africans in Africa.” “Therefore, as an industry, we need to continue to make substantial investments across all sectors, including oil and gas, and renewables. But we will have to do all this while mitigating climate change issues,” she said. Shell – which is also currently active in the offshore wind sector – is not the only oil supermajor to increasingly consider clean energy projects. Most of its oil rivals have acknowledged that the energy picture is changing, as recent energy outlooks have boosted the forecast for renewables in the long term. BP claims to own the largest renewables business of any major international oil and gas company, but the company has not brought a new wind farm online since 2012. However, the oil giant is reportedly considering repowering up to 400MW of its 2.3GW of operating US wind capacity to take full advantage of the production tax credit.

News Article | November 9, 2015

In the South Oman oilfields, a glass-encased Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project the size of an average nuclear plant has broken a new record for solar. After proving its technology in a 7 MW demo which beat its promised energy output every month for a couple of years; Glasspoint has landed a deal to build Miraah, a gigantic 1 GW solar Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) project for Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) at Amal West oil field.   At an astonishing 1,021 megawatts, Miraah is almost three times the capacity of Ivanpah, which at 377 MW is currently the world's largest CSP project delivering electricity.   Yet not only will Miraar (mirror in Arabic) produce steam at gigantic scale, but it does so at much lower cost than CSP and about half the cost of gas. The 1 GW project will cost a mere $600 million.   Each 50,000 m² glasshouse is a standalone 25 MW solar steam generator, able to be deployed alone as a single “block” or in multiples. The Miraah project makes 36 copies of Glasspoint’s standard block in which sunlight reflected off trough mirrors on to pipes containing recirculated oilfield “produced water” makes steam.   "I think this is going to revolutionize many aspects of the energy market," said Justin Dargin, MENA energy expert at the University of Oxford. "The Miraah project has shown the world that this technology is viable and it has economies of scale and it can be deployed at quite an economically competitive cost."   [IMAGE]   Traditionally, gas made EOR steam.   According to John O'Donnell, Glasspoint’s VP of Business Development; PDO's decision came not from concerns about carbon emissions, but from realizing that solar - rather than gas - is the most economical.   "Today with the price of oil way down, many, many oil companies have significantly cut the capital budget in their spending," he said.  "The fact that Oman's largest oil producer is making a major capital move into solar shows you that they realize that solar will maximise their remaining reserves because they can extract more oil, saving gas for other applications.”   Two thirds of all industrial energy used is thermal. The biggest thermal energy user in the world is the oil industry; 98% thermal energy, only 2% electricity. This is why Glasspoint has focused on EOR, by far the biggest industrial steam market.   “I've looked at giant power station projects that only needed 4 of our blocks and little oilfield projects that needed two hundred,” said O’Donnell.   By selling "a product - not a project" to a cash-paying customer - the oil industry, Glasspoint has been able to grow literally in leaps and bounds from their initial one third of a MW EOR project in California, to their 7 MW Oman pilot, to now, this groundbreaking 1,021 MW Miraah EOR project. No renewable startup selling power to utilities could fund such huge growth in just three steps.   Yet for all its size, this landmark project is relatively tiny relative to potential.   "You might look at this as a landmark CSP project, as it is the world's biggest and yet it is just a small fraction of the steam at just one oilfield," he said.   How it was done at such low cost   Glasspoint uses standardized oilfield components that integrate with existing operations; innovating only where they have to, in solar collection. But enclosing its CSP in standardized agricultural greenhouses was Glasspoint’s key frugal insight, because getting the solar collectors out of the wind meant they could be super lightweight and cut construction cost.   [IMAGE]   “This is the first trough in the world that lives in a zero wind indoor environment, so it weighs 10% as much as other troughs,” O’Donnell explained.   But as it turned out, protection from sand and dust turned out to be an even more significant advantage.   Commercial greenhouses have long been engineered to withstand conditions ranging from 150 mile-an-hour winds on Bermuda to 50 lbs/sq ft snow loads in Antarctica - and to be washed by standard robotic cleaners.   “Operating in Oman, we found output falls by 3% if we don’t wash overnight, and after dust storms; output could drop by 20 or 30%,” he said.   “We talk to people driving to that oil field every day who need to put a new windshield on four times a year because there is a six-foot-high zone of blowing sand near the oilfield.”   Even windows on buildings there turn a milky white in under a decade. But the roof of each twenty three foot glasshouse is above the abrasion zone.   Steam for electricity generation is more efficient at higher temperatures. But EOR requires a lower temperature: 350 F. Glasspoint CEO Rod MacGregor ultimately engineered the simplest, most fugal way to make an industrial-temperature steam at a huge scale.   No turbine or boiler   Glasspoint now uses only pipes and lightweight mirrors to create steam: each glasshouse is a steam generator - with no power block.   This simplicity evolved as a learning process. When I first spoke to MacGregor, he still planned to use oilfield machinery that could run on what he described as the “horrible” oilfield water used in gas EOR.   Unlike gas or coal which will always need a turbine and a boiler - and fuel - to make steam - of any temperature, this solar technology makes the exact temperature steam needed for EOR cheaper than gas partly because it can do that without the costly turbines and boilers of traditional steam generation.   “We are at a moment where the shape of the curve changes,” said O’Donnell. “People are going to naturally drive towards what is cheapest."

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