PDO to set up sulphur recovery plant in Oman

Construction work on the massive integrated oil and gas facility is expected to begin in earnest in Q1 2016 with commissioning targeted in Q1 2019

A file photo of PDO's Kauther gas project.
A file photo of PDO's Kauther gas project.

Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) is investing in cutting-edge sulphur extraction and recovery facilities as part of its efforts to harness the hydrocarbon potential of the Yibal Khuff Sudair, a deep oil and associated sour gas deposit located in the west of the Sultanate.

A 85,000 tonnes per annum capacity sulphur recovery plant has been envisaged as part of PDO's sizable investment in the Yibal Khuff Sudair integrated development project, the Oman Daily Observer reports.

The investment, experts point out, is dictated not so much by commercial considerations as by a desire to bringing on stream a highly sour field that is central to PDO's goal of sustaining oil production over the long term, while utilising the associated gas for power generation and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations.

Last year, British engineering firm Petrofac was awarded a $900mn engineering and procurement contract linked to the execution of the mega project.

Construction work on the massive integrated oil and gas facility is expected to begin in earnest in Q1 2016 with commissioning targeted in Q1 2019.

Average peak production is projected at 20,000 barrels per day when the facility commences commercial operations in 2020, while associated gas output is envisaged at 6mn cubic metres per day.

Among the daunting technical challenges that PDO has had to address in designing this hugely complex project relates to the highly sour nature of the gas that will be produced from Yibal Khuff Sudair.

The gas is contaminated with toxic and highly corrosive ingredients, including three per cent hydrogen sulphide (H2S), five per cent carbon dioxide and sulphurous compounds like mercaptans and carbonyl sulphide.

To ensure that the gas exported into the national gas grid meets the stringent regulatory specifications currently in force in the Sultanate, PDO has had to turn to proprietary, latest technologies in the design of the integrated oil and gas facility.

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