Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has started producing gas from the first sour wells at Rabab Harweel Integrated Project (RHIP), putting the project two months ahead of schedule.
In a statement announcing the project startup, PDO noted that work is progressing to initiate and stabilise the hydrocarbon processing facilities and to line up more wells. The company expects the plant’s capacity to ramp up in the coming weeks.
RHIP is an integrated oil and gas development across the Rabab and Harweel reservoirs in southern Oman. It is the largest capital project in PDO’s history, with reserves of more than 500mn barrels of oil equivalent.
"Rabab Harweel is a world-class addition to our portfolio, coming in ahead of plan and well below budget," said Raoul Restucci, managing director of PDO. "The investment returns are substantial, and, importantly, robust at low oil prices."
The facilities were built to handle the production of oil and gas from the Harweel oil reservoirs via miscible gas injection (MGI) – an enhanced oil recovery mechanism pioneered by PDO - and the production of gas from the Harweel and neighbouring Rabab reservoirs.
The project posed significant safety challenges, not only due to its size and complexity, but also because of the presence of a toxic, high-pressure mix of hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide. These gases are highly corrosive, which necessitated the use of corrosion-resistant alloys in materials and equipment. RHIP is designed to handle the toxic gases safely and effectively incorporating significant learnings from other similar PDO plants including the Harweel Main Production Station.
Half of the project's procurement cost was spent within Oman, utilising local supply chains. Fabrication of pressure vessels, process columns, pre-assembly pipe rack modules, and power and instrument cables were supplied by Omani companies.
In addition, around 200 Omanis were trained as certified 6G welders (the highest international standard) through PDO’s National Objectives programme, specifically to work on the project.
"The project has created a huge number of jobs and development opportunities for PDO, local suppliers and contractors, as well as adding to the Company’s sour gas expertise, which we can leverage regionally and globally," Restucci said.