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Wed 4 Apr 2007 05:32 PM

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Sour oil’s sweet future

Growth of SOGAT conference demonstrates increasing importance of sour hydrocarbon reserves to the region.

As the oil price continues to hover around and above the US $60 a barrel mark it's easy to see why oil companies are placing increasing importance on the exploitation of undeveloped reservoirs containing sour oil and gas.

Interest in the subject has strengthened the Sour Oil Gas Advanced Technology (SOGAT) annual conference and workshops. SOGAT, which this year will run between 29 April and 3 May in Abu Dhabi, is expecting a significant increase in attendance thanks to the growing significance and viability of sour reserves.

"The fact that we will have 18 countries represented at the conference reflects the growing interest in the subject, especially for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company," said conference organiser Nick Coles. "We're expecting 200 delegates and will have 30 presenters delivering technical papers."

This year the International CO
2

Forum has also been added to the conference. It will address the use of CO
2

in reservoir management and hydrocarbon recovery.

Strong oil prices have made extracting sour reserves more economically viable. Techniques for processing these sour hydrocarbons, which contain significant levels of hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide, continue to be refined as production increases. These technologies have particular importance for the UAE and the rest of the Gulf region, where further development of sour reserves is under way.

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