Strategic investments crucial to EOR: KOC chief

Kuwait is squarely focussed on tapping into its enormous heavy oil reserves, with the KOC planning to start oil production South Ratqa next year

Badria Ali Abdul Rahman, deputy CEO, Kuwait Oil Company
Badria Ali Abdul Rahman, deputy CEO, Kuwait Oil Company

Strategic investments will play a pivotal role in enabling the recovery of a widely abundant yet complex energy resource that can potentially extend the life expectancy of hydrocarbon supplies, according to the region’s oil industry giants.

Speaking ahead of the upcoming Middle East Heavy Oil Congress (MEHOC) in Bahrain, Badria Ali Abdul Rahman, deputy chief executive officer at the Kuwait Oil Company, said finding ways to efficiently extract and refine heavy oil is fundamental to truly leveraging the potential of the Gulf’s rich reserves.

“In Kuwait and across the region, heavy oil reserves are challenging targets waiting to be extracted,” Abdul Rahman said.

“This makes it crucial that we continue to make strategic investments in technologies and solutions that will enable the efficient recovery of heavy oil. The discussions at MEHOC will pave the way to sustainable heavy oil extraction and production, which can significantly extend the estimated lifespan of hydrocarbon supplies – the world’s future energy source.”

Kuwait is squarely focussed on tapping into its enormous heavy oil reserves, with the Kuwait Oil Company planning to start oil production end of 2018 at roughly 10,000 to 15,000 barrels of heavy oil per day in the country’s field of South Ratqa. Production is then expected to gradually increase to 60,000 barrels per day six months after production starts.

Recent research and exploration activities confirmed the presence of vast heavy oil resources overlaying conventional reservoirs in the country’s northern fields of Raudhatain, Sabriya, Abdali,Um Niqqa, and South Ratqa, as well as the Partitioned Neutral Zone (PNZ). Developing the heavy oil reservoirs in the northern area of the country aims to contribute in achieving Kuwait’s target capacity of 4mn barrels per day by 2020.

Yet the complex nature of heavy oil makes it exceptionally difficult to process, therefore developing advanced refineries is central to reaping the benefit of this highly complex resource. The Al Zour Refinery is one of Kuwait’s biggest projects currently in the pipeline that is being designed to address the challenge of heavy oil production. The government is expected to invest over $15bn in the new facility, according to the Oxford Business Group report, which will eventually be one of the largest oil refining plants globally. The project is an integral part of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation’s broader strategy to develop its downstream capabilities.

The Kuwait Oil Company will be among other major oil industry players at MEHOC, the largest gathering of heavy oil professionals in the region.

Hosted under the patronage of HE Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, minister of oil for the Kingdom of Bahrain, supported by the National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA), and organised by the Global Energy division of dmg events, MEHOC 2017 will offer two days of unparalleled networking and knowledge exchange opportunities for heavy oil professionals from across the globe through a dedicated conference and an international exhibition.

Key participating companies this year also include BAPCO, the Kuwait National Petroleum Company, Lukoil Engineering, Petroleum Development Oman, Schlumberger, and Tatweer Petroleum among others.

MEHOC will take place on 11 and 12 April at the Gulf Hotel. The event is expected to welcome more than 20 exhibiting companies, 40 speakers, and 200 professionals from over 15 countries.

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Oil & Gas Middle East - September 2019

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