A programme of thermal developments is being rapidly matured in Petroleum Development Oman's (PDO) Southern Oil Directorate. This targets several billion barrels of heavy oil deposits in clastic reservoirs at depths between 800m and 1800m. Cyclic steam stimulation and steam drive applications dominate the current development program. High-pressure steam injection and air injection applications are also pursued in some fields through studies and laboratory experiments.

Steam trials in three heavy oil fields spearhead the thermal developments and results are presented. These steam trials provide further insights to optimise the ongoing full field developments. The paper also describes a portfolio management approach to thermal developments, given that many of the target fields are in close proximity and can share the same infrastructure and development methodologies.

One of the main heavy oil full field developments has been matured from a Feasibility stage to Final Investment Decision in just three years. In this particular case, unique opportunities and challenges for thermal development arise due to the depth and thickness (200m) of the heavy oil column, with an underlying large regional aquifer. Specific topics addressed include thermal well cost reductions, urban planning, minimising additional gas requirements through COGEN, water management, development of a new Operating Model for Lean Steam Well & Reservoir Management and Operations, and overall integrated project management.

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