Prequalifiers line up for Qarn Alam

23 November 2001

Up to 15 international companies have applied to prequalify for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on the Qarn Alam steam injection project. Petroleum Development Oman (PDO)is expected to shortlist at least four bidders for the works. Project costs are estimated at around $200 million.

The scope of work is likely to include a steam plant, steam injection and water treatment facilities, and heavy oil-handling facilities. Power will come from a captive plant that is being tendered separately. PDO - which has undertaken the front-end engineering and design (FEED) studies - is considering splitting the project into three separate packages.

The prequalification tender follows the completion of a pilot steam injection programme. Qarn Alam contains high-viscosity and low-permeability crude, the recovery of which requires high-pressure steam injection. PDO has revised upwards its recovery forecast for the field to 39.2 million cubic metres from 4.4 million cubic metres.

Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects are the mainstay of the government's medium-term strategy to increase total production to 1 million barrels a day (b/d) of crude from around 910,000 b/d. PDO estimates that EOR will add a further 5,000 million barrels of oil to existing recoverable reserves of 40,000 million barrels (Oman, MEED Special Report, 4:5:01, pages 27-30).

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