PDO’s Managing Director Raoul Restucci believes the 40th anniversary of PDO gas production marks a great source of pride – both for the company and Oman. Here, he shares some personal thoughts on the company’s role as the country’s main natural gas supplier
What are your reflections on the fact PDO gas production has reached its 40th anniversary?
This is a significant milestone and a great source of pride for all in PDO, as gas has
fuelled and enabled domestic and industrial development and export revenues for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.
It represents 40 years of delivery against promise, of committed work, of technology innovation, of engineering prowess and operational excellence to serve Oman as a reliable pillar and key enabler to social and economic development.
Above all, the anniversary represents 40 years of developing leaders and functional talent and expertise across the full gas supply-demand end-to-end value chain. Such expertise has not only enabled the proficient development of complex oil and gas development projects, such as Rabab Harweel and Yibal Khuff, but provided the confidence and capability to identify, drive and support expansion plans for the foreseeable future.
What changes have you seen in the PDO gas portfolio since joining in 2010?
We have adopted a two-pronged approach aimed firstly at delivering on or above plan through operational excellence and making the most of what we have; and secondly, at accelerating the identification of new plays and opportunities to sustain longer-term production. Simply put, we have concentrated on high operating uptimes and efficiencies on the one hand, long-term supply enhancements (such as the Tayseer and Mabrouk North East discoveries) on the latter. Underpinning all of this was the increasingly seamless integration of petroleum engineering, operating, infrastructure and engineering teams through our “One PDO” shared vision and leveraged ways of working.
How important is gas for the sustainability of the company and country?
As the fuel of transition to the future and the most environment-friendly fossil fuel at our disposal, longer-term gas supply and performance sustainability are key to continued domestic growth and climate change challenges. Within PDO, enhancing gas reserves, plant, process and subsurface recoveries are core to our business and value creation focus and commitment to the Sultanate.
Do we have the right balance between exploring for oil and exploring for gas?
We regularly review how to best address hydrocarbon supply demand balances and over the last few years our efforts, as indeed those of other operators, to address emerging shortfalls in medium-term gas supply have yielded significant new discoveries and reestablished a much stronger balance.
What does the future hold for gas in terms of new technology, exploration and production?
I recently reviewed the new technology and process logic applications being implemented to address production loss due to liquid buildup in our gas wells under increasing depletion, yielding in excess of a 30 per cent production improvement. Similarly, on the gas processing side, micro-turbine technology is helping us produce energy from, and capture, previously flared gas.
The advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the opportunities that artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, robotic process automation and so much more are providing, will enable and further step-change the scale and scope of continued improvements in performance, from seismic imaging (leading to new exploration plays) to drilling and processing, raising the bar in oil and gas production performance and outlook.
What message do you have for Gas Directorate staff and contractors as the company makes its transition to renewables?
Our Gas team, both contractor and company staff, have been, and are, delivering operational excellence and engineering ingenuity across the full spectrum of our portfolio, in a safe, diligent and professional manner. They represent the bridge to the future as they work to deliver on energy supply and environmental imperatives.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
In summary, this anniversary marks 40 years of excellence and a platform for sustained success. This is a great source of pride for the company and country alike.