Petroleum Development Oman has awarded a contract to a U.S. firm to
build a seven-megawatt solar plant to generate steam and increase production
from aging oil wells. Under the contract, GlassPoint Solar, based in
Fremont, Calif., would use solar power rather than natural gas to increase
oil production to 1 million barrels per day by 2016.
"Over time, the light oil at the top of fields gets used up, so
ultimately everyone will be producing heavier and heavier oil," GlassPoint
chief executive officer Rod Macgregor said. "Oil producers will need steam
from somewhere, so they can either burn gas, which many lack, or they can
use solar energy."
Also In This Edition
Over the last five years, Oman, one of the smaller producers in the Gulf
Cooperation Council, has reversed a decline in oil output through enhanced
recovery technology. The GCC sultanate intends to produce 850,000 barrels of
oil per day in 2011.