‘The nature of PDO’s business is changing,’ managing director Steve Ollerearnshaw told MEED in late April. ‘We now have a mounting number of maturing wells that have been in production for up to 30 years. We realise that a move to IOR and EOR, which are not used much in the Middle East, is vital for PDO. We are putting together a new five-year plan that takes this into account.’

The plan calls for the implementation of such programmes at the Mukhaizna and Haweel oil fields. PDO plans to invest an estimated $1,000 million in boosting production in Mukhaizna to 100,000 barrels a day (b/d) from 15,000 b/d through steam injection. Recovery costs are estimated to be in the region of $7-8 a barrel. If final approval is given, PDO expects to invite consultants to bid for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) package in the second half of the year.

‘PDO has been successful in recent years in lowering its recovery costs. However, the nature of oil production in Oman is changing with wells underproducing and a greater occurrence of heavy oil reservoirs. This pushes up costs, which is unavoidable.’ says Ollerearnshaw.

A similar project to improve oil recovery from the Haweel field may require even more investment. The field produces about 13,000 b/d, which PDO plans to boost through high-pressure gas injection. Project costs are expected to be in the region of $100 million a year for the duration of the scheme.

PDO is in the process of tendering for a steam injection project at Qarn Alam. Some 15 contractors are understood to have applied to prequalify for the scheme’s main engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) package. Project costs are estimated at $200 million. However, PDO says it needs to acquire more information on the field before it can issue the invitation to bid.

PDO is producing 870,000 b/d of oil equivalent, of which 790,000 b/d is crude and 75,000 b/d is in the form of condensate.