Petroleum Development Oman plans to focus more on renewable energy

Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) will turn to a fully fledged energy company over the next decade encompassing hydrocarbon and renewable energy generation and water management, an official from PDO said. The majority state-owned firm has already taken strides in fields of alternate energy with projects such as Glasspoint Miraah and Ras Al Hamra redevelopment and “has a goal to play a major part in Oman’s solar and renewable future.” “Over the next ten years, our operations will still be dominated by oil and gas, nearly 80 per cent of our operations. But we are increasing the percentage in renewable energy and water management. We will become a fully fledged energy company,” Raoul Restucci, Managing Director of PDO said. Several opportunities “There are several opportunities in Oman relating to these sectors. We have to note that 50 per cent of stranded assets in oil and gas will not be monetised due to the rise of these sectors. We need to redefine our businesses and find the sweet spots for growth. The renewable energy sector will drive growth in jobs and solar can contribute to providing for the rising energy requirements in Oman.” In partnership with Glasspoint, PDO has completed the first phase of Miraah, the largest Concentrating Solar Power Plant in the world, to produce steam for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) at the Amal West oilfield. At full capacity, the plant can produce 6,000 tonnes of steam for EOR purposes reducing requirement for natural gas. PDO is also working to install thousands of solar panels at its headquarters car park at Mina Al Fahal that can power up to 1,000 homes. They recently launched a renewable energy initiative where Omani small and medium enterprises (SMEs) could suggest ideas in the field of renewable energy. The firm has also taken significant initiatives in water production and management. “We need to start capitalising on the opportunities presented by these sectors and create jobs for locals. Our target in the next three years is to create 50,000 jobs outside the oil and gas sector and we are working to achieve this. The private sector in Oman needs to step up and we need to create products in Oman by Omanis and this is what PDO will be focusing on,” Restucci added. According to Fabio Scacciavilani, Chief Economist at Oman Investment Fund, PDO’s gradual transition to an energy company is natural. “We have seen the likes of BP shifting to renewables. They want to be known as an energy company rather than an oil and gas company. The same is true for PDO. They have the means to develop other sources of energy and I believe this is a very important phase,” he further added.