A number of local and international engineering construction firms are in the race for a key project that is central to Petroleum Development Oman’s (PDO) goal to sustain gas flows from its main gas production hub at Saih Rawl in central Oman. Financial and technical bids were submitted here recently for Phase 2 of PDO’s Saih Rawl Depletion Compression (SRDC) project, which is critical to ensuring that gas exports to major consumers are maintained and at the prescribed pressure and in the requisite volumes.
The phase 2 development comes close on the heels of the inauguration last month of the first phase of the Saih Rawl Depletion Compression project — an estimated $550 million investment that reinforces PDO’s dominant place at the heart of Oman’s flourishing gas industry. Presently the largest gas field in the country, Saih Rawl has been in production since 1991, catering to much of gas demand in the North of Oman. Volumes from Saih Rawl are processed at PDO’s massive Central Processing Plant (CPP) located not far the field.
Treated gas from the CPP is supplied to the LNG trains at Qalhat for export, as well as to the Government Gas System which in turn feeds power plants and industrial consumers mainly in the North of Oman. Also offtaking these treated volumes is the Oman-India Fertiliser plant at Sur, the South Oman Gas Line via a pipeline known as the Interconnector, as well as PDO itself for its internal power generation requirements. Treated condensate from the CPP is exported into the Main Oil Line, while extracted LPG is dispatched by road tankers.
However with the Saih Rawl field gradually reaching maturity, resulting in a decline in reservoir pressure, PDO has had to resort to a technique known as depletion compression. This enables sustained production and increases ultimate recovery from the field, by reducing the back-pressure at the wellhead and boosting the inlet pressure from 35 bar to 96 bar for exports.
Phase 1 of the Saih Rawl Depletion Compression Project, which was completed and commissioned last year, has a capacity to handle 48 million standard cubic metres of gas per day (MMSCMD). Also built as part of the Phase 1 package is a new power station with a total capacity of 120 MW to cater for increased power demand. However, with reservoir pressure in the Saih Rawl Main field set to continuously fall in the coming years, a further ramp-up of depletion compression capacity will become necessary in 2015 when levels decline to 35 bar in the first quarter of that year.
SRDC2, as Phase 2 of the Saih Rawl Depletion Compression project is dubbed, is targeted for completion in the first quarter of 2015 to enable reduction of CPP inlet pressure from 35 to 13 bar. The Phase 2 package calls for the construction of four parallel compression trains with a total capacity of 30 MMSCMD of gas. In addition, the selected contractor will also install 76 MW of gas compression capacity, and carry out some modifications to the condensate handling system at the Central Processing Plant.
Further, a pair of inlet separators will be installed to handle the gas streams from Saih Rawl South, Saih Rawl Oil gas line, and the Barik and Mabrouk fields. These inlet separators will be designed for a total gas handling capacity of 18 MMSCMD of gas, which will be routed to existing compression trains built as part of the first phase development of the depletion compression project. A contract is likely to be awarded in the coming months, it is learnt.