PDO Invites Firms to Unlock Potential of Habhab Heavy Oilfield

Source: Oman Observer 1/18/2017, Location: Middle East

Majority state-owned Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) is looking to partner with international oil and gas companies in harnessing the prodigious hydrocarbon potential of its Habhab oilfield – a large, heavy and very viscous oil accumulation located in south Oman.

Development of Habhab, a ultra-heavy oil reservoir where its hydrocarbon content is officially classified as bitumen, presents formidable technical challenges that test the boundaries of Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) technologies currently deployed in the Sultanate.

Earlier this week, the company said it was inviting experienced exploration and production companies to unlock the production potential of the Habhab ultra heavy oilfield under a production sharing agreement. The objective of the sourcing exercise is a Field Service Agreement targeting the development of one billion barrels of stock tank oil initially in place (STOIIP) in the Habhab oilfield.

“The company wishes to invite oil and gas companies to participate in the sourcing exercise for the development and implementation of hydrocarbon production practices aimed at achieving the Maximum Economic Recovery of Habhab Oil in a part of its concession area in the Sultanate of Oman,” said PDO in a note to interested international players. “In brief, the Habhab oil is classified as bitumen. Enhanced oil recovery is required to produce the Habhab oil,” the company added.

The field, which was originally discovered in 1982, has an estimated 2.4 billion barrels of ultra-heavy crude, development of which has since proved a major stumbling block. However, in recent years PDO has progressed steam and chemical injection pilots to try and unlock the potential of the field, with encouraging results.

According to PDO, the bitumen is accumulated in a thinly laminated sandstone reservoir with an oil column thickness of approximately 100 metres with the reservoir depth starting at 1,550 metres. Initial oil saturation is around 50 per cent, the company said.

Plans for the development of Habhab, one of many strategic EOR projects lined up by PDO as key to achieving its long-term production goals, were briefly paused at the start of the fiscal crunch triggered by the slump in international oil prices two years ago.

With the launch of this week’s sourcing exercise, this “promising ultra-heavy oil opportunity” is back on the table again for implementation.

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