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PDO to focus more on primary and secondary oil production: Managing director

Majority state-owned Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) is trying to raise its primary and secondary crude oil production, rather than focusing on enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects, the company’s managing director told Times of Oman.

“Our focus, however, in a low price environment, is less about EOR and more about primary and secondary (oil fields),” said Raoul Restucci, on the sidelines of an event to sign a contract with Neuman&Esser for supplying new reciprocating compressors.

We are raising primary and secondary production.”Primary oil recovery is limited to hydrocarbons that naturally rise to the surface, or those that use artificial lift devices, such as pump jacks. Secondary recovery employs water and gas injection, displacing the oil and driving it to the surface. The way to further increase oil production is through the tertiary recovery method or enhanced oil recovery. Although more expensive to employ on a field, EOR can increase production from a well tremendously.

Restucci said presently enhanced oil recovery projects contribute 12-14 per cent of PDO’s total crude oil production and the plan is to gradually raise it to 25 per cent by 2020. However, it is not as high as the company had originally projected (few years ago).

Restucci added that the company is aiming at producing around 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day this year.

Early this year, PDO said that it was confident of raising a new sustainable long-term oil production plateau of 600,000 barrels per day (BPD), well ahead of its original 2019 target, to support revenue generation.

The average daily oil production of PDO in 2015 was 588,937 bpd, the highest since 2005 and almost 14,000 bpd above the planned target. Natural gas production last year was 83 million cubic meters per day, one million cubic meters above the planned target as the company stepped up its efforts to meet growing natural gas demand.

The main EOR projects of PDO are Marmul Polymer project, Al Amal Steam project and QarnAlam steam project. Al Amal steam project continues its expansion, while QarnAlam steam project is gradually raising its production. “So, these projects are our key pillar projects in the medium term. Then we got a number of other efforts. We are looking at different technologies and super-heated steam is at an experimental stage.”

Long-term funds

The PDO chief, while referring to its fund raising programmes, said the company would look at long-term financing opportunities. “We will look at additional option when we go forward.” The company will look at overseas markets in case it plans to raise additional funds and that too will be in close coordination with the Ministry of Finance. Of late, PDO has raised $4 billion from overseas markets for meeting its capital expenditure.

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