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Occidental Petroleum to Employ KFU for Projects in Oman

Prospects were discussed at a meeting with Sultan Qaboos University.

Guests from Oman talked about their country’s latest endeavors in oil prospecting and extraction. Oman’s GDP is 70% oil revenue, but exports have been falling lately. Traditional reserves are nearing depletion, and local companies pay more attention to viscous and ultra-viscous oils.

Sultan Qaboos University in cooperation with Petroleum Development Oman and Occidental Petroleum are working in two main areas. The first is biotechnology, and the second is steam-assisted drainage. Both projects are cost-consuming, so Omani scientists are seeking more effective and cheaper technologies of extraction enhancement.

As it happens, KFU has had experience in both areas. Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) has been implemented in collaboration with Tatneft, and Biocontrol Lab is working on biosurfactants. Aside from that, there are projects for underground refining catalysts, which, because of their projected depth capabilities and long-term effects (2-3 months from one use), are of special interest to Oman’s companies. These were all shown to the visitors at the Institute of Geology and Petroleum Technologies and the Institute of Chemistry.

“We are open for cooperation and new ideas. You can refer to Stanford University – we have been working with them for a long time. I would be very glad if we and you can also implement a few joint projects. We have seen and heard much in these two days, and we are greatly impressed. I am sure that we will achieve much together”, opined Said Al-Bahry, Director of the Center for Oil and Gas Research of SQU.

Vice-Rector Danis Nurgaliev responded, “We are very interested in your results in biotech. We are also conducting a number of projects on biosurfactants, and we can benefit from experience exchange. Here in Tatarstan, aside from the big oil company, Tatneft, we also have 30 small companies. And for them these liquefying bacteria are very interesting.”

Student exchange was also of interest for the guests. SQU Vice-Rector for Research Yahya Al-Wahaibi said that this is definitely one of the priorities when it comes to bilateral links.

The sides agreed to continue their talks with participation by PDO and Occidental in Oman.