Project could save more than 800,000 tons of CO2 emissions a year
GlassPoint Solar has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Occidental of Oman that could see the development of a 2GW solar thermal energy plant. Should the project move forward, the plant will be built at the Mukhaizna oilfield and using GlassPoint’s solar technology, the plant could produce 100,000 barrels of solar steam per day, which could be used to produce heavy oil.
The firm’s steam generators are said to use large mirrors to concentrate sunlight and boil oilfield water into steam. Occidental of Oman would then purchase the steam under a long-term agreement, which GlassPoint says will provide a cost-effective, zero-emissions alternative to steam generated using natural gas.
Preliminary studies have been completed, paving the way for engineering work to begin scoping the project and drawing up field integration plans, a statement from GlassPoint Solar said.
“As we continue to diversify the country’s economy and develop the renewable energy sector, we are also identifying ways to save our natural gas resources. Oman’s vast heavy oilfields present one of the largest opportunities to deploy solar energy and conserve gas, which can instead be used to fuel industries and generate power. We’re pleased to see this progress between Occidental of Oman and GlassPoint, which can deliver substantial economic and environmental benefits to the sultanate,” said Oman’s Minister of Oil and Gas, Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhi.
The solar project could save more than 800,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year, said the statement.
Steve Kelly, president and GM of Occidental of Oman added, “We are excited about working with GlassPoint to enhance our environmental stewardship in Oman and strengthen Occidental’s position in the lower-carbon economy. This is a strategic opportunity for us to tap into solar as a sustainable source of energy in order to minimize the carbon footprint of our operations.”
In operation in Oman for more than 30 years, Occidental of Oman is the country’s largest independent oil producer. At the Mukhaizna field, the company says it has implemented one of the world’s largest steam flood projects for enhanced oil recovery (EOR).
Occidental Petroleum’s global strategy is also said to include active investment in CO2 EOR and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), as well as other emissions-reducing technologies.
GlassPoint Solar CEO Steven Moss concluded, “We are looking forward to building on our success with another major solar project in Oman. Occidental of Oman’s interest shows the scale of opportunity renewables can play in reducing the energy use and environmental impact of oil production. We’re pleased to work with Occidental of Oman to grow Oman’s solar industry and the global market for solar powered oil production.”