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PDO now thinks the field could rival BP’s giant Khazzan tight gas

PDO now thinks the field could rival BP’s giant Khazzan tight gas

Oman set to develop Mabrouk gas field


Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has completed the appraisal of the Mabrouk gas field, but is waiting for approval from the sultanate’s Ministry of Oil and Gas before pushing ahead with development amid a surplus of gas supplies.

PDO’s conservative estimates of the field in the Gharif formation in northern Oman put gas reserves at 4.4 trillion cubic feet (tcf), along with 110 million barrels of condensates, managing director Raoul Restucci said.

This could easily be ramped up to 15 mmcfd of gas production within the next three and half years under a first phase of development, Restucci said at the ministry’s annual press briefing in Muscat.

"It is a straightforward engineering challenge. The question is do we need the gas, given the development of the Khazzan gas field," he added.

Oman currently has a gas surplus, so the development could be delayed while the ministry of oil and gas decides if it is needed.

"Oman has a surplus for the next five years. But does it have a surplus for the next 25 or 30 years, is another question," he said.

Nevertheless, this was a "nice problem to have," and PDO could push ahead with the field’s development, optimising its strategy to make the most of the condensate resources instead, Restucci said.

PDO is a joint venture of the Omani government (60 per cent), Shell (34 per cent), Total (4 per cent) and Partex (2 per cent), which operates a 90,000 square km (34,749 square mile) concession area covering almost a third of the country.

Discovered in 1980, PDO initially considered Mabrouk to be non-commercial, and abandoned its exploration campaign. It was revived a decade ago, and new wells were drilled. With the new appraisal complete, PDO now thinks the field could rival BP’s giant Khazzan tight gas development.

Khazzan started up last September, and has ramped up production to 1 bcfd, supplying a third of Oman’s gas needs. BP first signed a production sharing contract with the Omani government in 2007 for the sultanate’s onshore Block 61, which contains the Khazzan field, granting it a 60 per cent operator’s stake. The Oman Oil Company for Exploration & Production holds the remaining 40 per cent interest.

Production at the $16 billion tight gas development is expected to increase to 1.5 bcfd in the second phase of development, supplying about 40 per cent of Oman’s domestic gas requirements. The project is expected to allow incremental LNG exports of 1.5 million mt/year from Oman’s LNG plants.

BP awarded an $800-million contract to Petrofac in December for the engineering, procurement and construction of a second central processing facility at Khazzan.

The new 500 mmcfd gas facility, targets the field’s Ghazeer reservoir. Once complete BP will be able to process 1.5 bcfd of gas from the field. "All the major contracts have been awarded, except for the pipeline, said Yousuf Al-Ojaili, the president of BP Oman, at the briefing.

A final investment decision has also been made for the first development well, and BP is targeting 2021 for the first gas, Ojaili said.

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