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Monday, April 24, 2017
The Middle East’s vast heavy oil resources indicate that heavy oil will be an important future energy source for the region, especially when conventional hydrocarbons dry out, according to Bahrain’s Minister of Oil, Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa. In his keynote address to the 2nd Middle East Heavy Oil Congress (Mehoc), Shaikh Mohammed said the region has some 30 per cent of the global heavy oil reserves amounting to about 500 billion barrels, much of it still undeveloped.However, Oman and Kuwait have been successful in tapping into this resource and exploiting it commercially, he said adding that Bahrain has its own schemes to develop heavy oil, especially in view of the fact that conventional resources will become scarce one day and “we will have to tap into heavy oil”. Bahrain’s Tatweer Petroleum has a heavy oil venture that has proved successful, he said.Tatweer focuses on applying EOR techniques in the Bahrain field and is at the very forefront of the industry in thermal recovery of both heavy and light oils from carbonate structures. Explaining, he said Bahrain has heavy oil in a zone called Rubble. “We haven’t produced anything commercially so far, but we are successful doing pilot tests,” he said.The Rubble reservoir Heavy Oil project that uses steam injection for Enhanced Oil Recovery has been a technical success. And Bahrain is willing to share its expertise with other countries in the region so that ultimately the cost of production comes down. The market price of oil is another factor that will have a bearing on the viability of heavy oil production, he added.
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