Pilot Steam Generator Uses Solar Energy Successfully for EOR Operations in Oman

Fig. 1ā€”Solar radiation (DNI) map of Oman showing average annual DNI per day in KW-h/m2. The location of the SSGP is marked with a ā€œ+.ā€

This paper presents performance, results, and learnings from the first solar enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) project in the Middle East/North Africa region, including the motivation for solar EOR in Oman, a description of the enclosed-trough design used in the Amal field, and operations and performance data. The key objective for the pilot was to prove that the system is able to be deployed practically and economically at scale in the region.


Thermal-EOR projects require a massive long-term thermal energy supply to heat the reservoir. Concentrating solar power (CSP) could provide this energy at a low cost after the initial capital investment; hence, the two processes are well-matched, especially in locations with high levels of solar radiation.

The Sultanate of Oman, in common with many other countries in the region, has large heavy-oil reserves, which are best produced with thermal-EOR methods. Natural gas is traditionally used as the fuel for these projects. How­ever, concerns about future supply, carbon dioxide emissions, and future costs led Petroleum Development Oman to investigate solar technology to power long-term EOR plans. The result was the ­solar-steam-generation pilot (SSGP) built at the Amal West field in southern Oman.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 169745, “Construction, Operations, and Performance of the First Enclosed-Trough Solar-Steam-Generation Pilot for EOR Applications,” by Daniel Palmer, SPE, GlassPoint Solar Muscat, and John O’Donnell, GlassPoint Solar, prepared for the 2014 SPE EOR Conference at OGWA, Muscat, Oman, 31 March–2 April. The paper has not been peer reviewed.


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Pilot Steam Generator Uses Solar Energy Successfully for EOR Operations in Oman

01 June 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 6


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