When it comes to petroleum production both Oman and Kuwait’s GDP sits around 50%. Production costs are low and reserves are plentiful. Now both countries are looking to expand their operations from conventional oil to heavy.
Leading the way is Oman. Eng. Ali Al Gheity with Petroleum Development Oman says “the luxury this country has is the ability to test new technology in the desert where there is lots of space and few people.” There is also little water for the operations and it is hard to dispose of the waste water. So Ali says one option they are looking at is plants “to eat oil and waste water” and help return water to its pristine state.
Solar energy is also coming into play. There is obviously no shortage of sun in the desert and Ali told those attending his seminar at the World Heavy Oil Congress in Edmonton, Alberta that it is being used to generate steam for drilling. But there are limits because while the solar panels are used to generate power during the day – a lot of work is needed every night to remove the dust and sand from them.
Kuwait is watching the progress in Oman and while the two countries have similar resources, Kuwait has a shortage of gas for industry and that presents some unique challenges. Musleh Al-Otaibi with the Kuwait Oil Company told those in attendance “Kuwait is still in the early stages of producing heavy oil and is looking at options to optimize this opportunity. We will be reaching out to Canada for its expertise.”