KUWAIT: GlassPoint Solar is participating in the 2nd Kuwait Oil and Gas Show (KOGS) taking place from October 11-14 at Kuwait International Fairgrounds in Mishref. On the sidelines of the exhibition, Daniel Palmer, vice president of sales, told Kuwait Times that GlassPoint’s Miraah project will be a great opportunity for Kuwait. “We are here in Kuwait because we believe that Kuwait is a very important market in our future business,” he said, highlighting the solar enhanced oil recovery application for Kuwait’s heavy oil fields.
“Kuwait is about to start developing its heavier resources, so it recently sanctioned the first phase of a field in the north, and this field is going to consume a huge of amount of energy to make steam. Heavy oil needs steam to produce, and normally this steam is generated using natural gas, but Kuwait is short of natural gas. Luckily, Kuwait has abundant sunshine, and it is free. Our technology can generate steam for oilfield operations using solar power, and we believe that it is great opportunity for Kuwait to use solar power in oilfields. You will get steam at a lower cost than by using natural gas, which can be available for the generation of electricity,” Palmer said.
Palmer explained how solar enhanced oil recovery (EOR) can help Kuwait achieve its 2020 and 2030 strategies. “There is enough fuel available for the first phase, but by using solar, you can make four times more steam than with fuel, so they can increase production fourfold and use the fuel to reach strategic goals faster without burning natural gas,” he said.
He pointed out that Miraah will be one of the largest solar plants in history, producing 1,021 MW of peak thermal energy. GlassPoint is building the project in partnership with Petroleum Development Oman, the largest oil producer in Oman and a joint venture between the government, Shell, Total and Partex. Miraah will use concentrated sunlight to generate 6,000 tons of solar steam each day. The steam will feed directly to PDO’s existing thermal EOR operations, providing a substantial portion of the steam required at the Amal oilfield in southern Oman.
Miraah will save 5.6 trillion btu of natural gas each year. The mega project dwarfs all previous solar EOR installations and is more than 100 times larger than the pilot project built by GlassPoint for PDO in 2012. When complete, the total project area will span three square kilometers. The project will break ground in late 2015 with steam generation from the first glasshouse module projected to begin in 2017.
By Faten Omar