PDO's Miraah solar EOR project costs cut by 46%

Operator says ground has been prepared for the project, which was launched in mid-2015 in record time, three months short of the date specified in the approved plan

The project is sprawled over a total area of 3 square kilometres, equivalent to 360 football fields.
The project is sprawled over a total area of 3 square kilometres, equivalent to 360 football fields.

State-owned Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has confirmed to the official Oman News Agency (ONA) that the cost of the ‘Miraah’ project for generating solar steam has been reduced since the assignment of the project last year.

Compared to the experimental project, costs are down 46% of the total value of the project due to the adoption of the company, in collaboration with Glass Point Solar, a development and research programme that seeks to find new ways to design more innovative and efficient systems at the lowest cost.

Adel bin Ali Al Busaidi, acting director of the Miraah project and PDO’s representative said the project, which was established in the Amal field in the south of PDO's concession area, is one of the largest solar power plants in the world and is carried out in collaboration between PDO — owner and operator of the oilfield — and Glass Point Solar, for the use of solar energy in the field of enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

Al Busaidi said that the ground had been prepared for the project, which was launched in mid-2015 in record time, three months short of the date specified in the approved plan, by Omani engineers and local companies that were assigned with the design, supervision and implementation tasks.

He explained that the project consists of 36 glass houses that will be built in three stages.

Some important facilities of the first stage will be completed by the end of 2016, and will start running in record time.

He added that the first and second stages of the project will produce a total of 2000 metric tonnes of steam for the EOR operations by mid-2018, and the production will be carried out in several stages, starting from the beginning of 2017.

Al Busaidi further noted that a total of 6,000 metric tonnes of steam are being targeted when the third phase is completed in 2022, which will make this the largest project of its kind in the oil and gas sphere.

He also pointed out that when the project is launched, it will provide 6.5tn British thermal units of natural gas annually after dispensing with the traditional ways to burn the gas produce steam, which is equivalent to 46 shipments of liquefied gas annually.

On the challenges facing the company, Al Busaidi responded by saying that the main challenges faced by the company in the implementation of the project are the existence of the necessary expertise needed for the design and implementation of this massive project.

The project is sprawled over a total area of 3 square kilometres, equivalent to 360 football fields to become the largest of its kind in the world, and consists of 233km of water-bearing pipes to reflect the sun's rays through reflective mirrors that are designed to collect 90% of the sunlight, enough to heat water to 320°C and convert it into steam pressure of 100 bar.

He explained that all the mirrors and glass tubes are covered with a giant glass house to protect it from dust and wind and to prolong the life span of the project that is estimated to last for three decades.

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