Oman inaugurates giant solar plant to boost oilfield ops

Petroleum Development Oman says Miraah solar plant will be among the world's largest when completed
By Staff writer
Sat 24 Feb 2018 12:53 AM

Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and GlassPoint Solar, have announced the inauguration of the giant Miraah solar plant in the sultanate.

Miraah, located at the Amal oilfield in the south of the sultanate, will be among the world’s largest solar projects when completed.

Four blocks of the plant have now been constructed, a statement said.

Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi, Undersecretary of Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas said: “Deploying solar on Oman’s oilfields to reduce the industry’s natural gas consumption has a significant and lasting economic benefit for the sultanate.

“The project, which stands to be among the largest solar projects in the world, has contributed to developing local Omani talent in the renewable energy field and created job opportunities for local companies.”

Miraah’s construction has progressed on schedule. The first four blocks were commissioned successfully and the facility is now in daily operation delivering steam to the Amal oilfield. The four blocks have a total capacity of over 100 MWt and will deliver 660 tonnes of steam per day, providing significant gas savings, the statement said.

It added that once complete, the one gigawatt installation will consist of 36 blocks built in a sequence, which allows PDO to benefit from solar steam now and gradually ramp-up production over time to meet the Amal oilfield’s steam demand. The project is on track to deliver an additional eight blocks in early 2019.

“This is a very proud day for PDO and our partners GlassPoint Solar. Miraah provides a simple yet innovative solution that allows us to develop our heavy oil, while at the same time reducing energy consumption and costs,” said PDO managing director Raoul Restucci.

Unlike solar panels that generate electricity, GlassPoint’s solution uses large mirrors to concentrate sunlight and boil oilfield water directly into steam. The steam is used for the extraction of viscous or heavy oil as an alternative to steam generated from natural gas.

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