Dr Carole Nakhle
In the global landscape of oil and gas markets, the Sultanate of Oman is dwarfed by its Middle Eastern neighbors. This is hardly surprising given that its proven oil and gas reserves are a tiny fraction of those of its peers. With a long-standing investment-friendly policy, however, the sultanate has been successful in deploying the latest technology not only to reverse its oil production decline, but also to reach record levels and tap unconventional resources trapped in some of the most complex and deepest geological formations known in the industry.
Oman has been a global leader in the application of Enhanced Oil Recovery, or EOR (also called tertiary recovery) technology. One of Petroleum Development Oman’s oil fields, the Qarn Alam, is the world’s first full-field steam injection EOR project and also the largest of its kind.
Oman recently became the first Middle Eastern country to join the very small club of unconventional oil and gas producers, currently led by the United States. In September 2017, production started at its $16 billion Khazzan tight gas field, the largest-scale unconventional gas project in the Middle East.