World Heavy Oil Congress begins in Muscat

Muscat - 

The three-day long World Heavy Oil Congress & Exhibition (WHOC) kick-started on Monday under the auspices of H E Dr Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhi, Oman’s Minister of Oil and Gas and H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Minister of Oil at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre.

More than 3,000 international industry professionals and experts will connect, discuss, and deliberate the transformation of the heavy oil value chain and the future of the world’s energy mix for next three days.

Welcoming participants from all around the globe, WHOC chairmen Dr Ali al Gheithy, petroleum engineering function director at Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and Dr Saleh bin Ali al Anboori, director general of planning and studies at the Ministry of Oil and Gas, highlighted Oman’s growing role on the global stage in spearheading innovation to maximise heavy oil production.

Speaking at the inauguration, Gheithy said, “The world is awash with heavy and extra heavy oil deposits, in excess of 1tn barrels. It currently accounts for 12-15 per cent of total global production and there is significant recoverable potential to be unlocked.”

He said heavy oil and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) form an important part of Oman’s oil mix. “It is anticipated that by 2025, about 25 per cent of PDO’s production will come from EOR projects,” Gheithy said.

Speaking at a panel discussion, H E Rumhi said, “Oman was probably the only country which did not reduce spending during the low oil price period that started in 2014 and continued till the end of 2017. As a country, we took the right decision to focus on investment and that has helped us in the end.”

Hailing Oman’s achievement in the field of EOR, H E Khalifa said, “Oman was the first to invest in heavy oil, and we have a lot to learn from the sultanate. Heavy oil could be in heavy demand, at least in the short-term, as a result of implications of the light tight oil phenomenon in the US.”

The ministers along with a high-level delegation from WHOC also toured the exhibition, which will run until Wednesday.

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