The Ministry of Oil organizes a virtual seminar on the heavy oil project and its latest stages of development
The Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Oil organized this morning, Wednesday, a virtual discussion session on the heavy oil project and its latest stages of development, in which the chief petrophysicist of the Kuwait Oil Company Fatima Alaa Taqi lectured, and was attended by a number of Ministry of Oil employees from technical and economic affairs and guests from the Organization (OAPEC). The Kuwait Research Institute, the Environment Public Authority, and the media.
At the outset, Director of Public Relations and Information at the Ministry of Oil Sheikha Tamader Khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said that the heavy oil project is one of the largest oil projects implemented by Kuwait in the Ratqa field, and the most technically difficult to produce 60 thousand barrels per day as a first stage, and supply it to Al-Zour Refinery to contribute to the production Low-sulfur environmental fuel and supplying it to power plants.
Sheikha Tamader Khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah stated in her intervention during the discussion panel that the heavy oil project aims to benefit from the huge reserves of heavy oil, which would help in achieving oil revenues and great economic returns for Kuwait in the future.
She pointed to Kuwait's expansion in crude oil production as part of the country's strategy to raise production capacity to reach 4 million barrels per day, noting that increasing heavy oil production is a fundamental pillar for the future of the oil industry in Kuwait.
She stressed that the Ministry of Oil is keen to organize seminars to review the most important oil projects implemented by the State of Kuwait.
For her part, the chief petrophysicist at the Kuwait Oil Company, Fatima Alaa Taqi, said that the heavy oil project has a crucial role in supporting and achieving the KOC strategy for the year 2040 and reaching a production of 270 thousand barrels per day in the South Ratqa field in the future. As well as achieving a production of 50,000 barrels per day from the Umm El-Naga field for the year 2030.
She said that the number of currently active wells is 930 vertical wells in the South Al-Ratqa field, and about 122 vertical wells in the Umm Al-Naqqa field, noting that the South Al-Ratqa field is one of the large border fields in northern Kuwait, with an area of 1,415 square kilometers, while the area of the Umm Al-Naqqa field is 145 square kilometers.
She said that the future plans of the heavy oil project lie in completing the development of the heavy oil project for the Umm Al-Naqa field for the first phase, with a production rate of 15,000 barrels per day, and the South Ratqa field for the second phase, with a production rate of 60,000 barrels per day. Daily, and plans are being worked on to develop both the Sabriya and Bahra fields after discovering a group of heavy oil in the Lower Fars reservoir, and to localize the latest exploration and production technology systems (smart use of technology) for developing wells and finally building the capabilities of the employees of the Kuwait Oil Company in the management and production of oil heavy.
She reviewed the types of oil, where she said that oil is classified into heavy or light oil, depending on the scale of specific density and the degree of viscosity. The higher the specific density, the lower the viscosity and vice versa.
On the techniques of extracting heavy oil in Kuwait, she said that they are concentrated in 4 ways: improvement by periodic steam injection, cold production of heavy oil accompanied by sand, pumping with water, and finally pumping chemicals.
She pointed out that the periodic steam injection technique was carried out through 3 stages, where steam is injected for a certain period of time to raise the temperature of the reservoir and allow the well to absorb heat for a specified period, and then oil is produced from the same well.
Sending heavy oil to Al-Zour Refinery instead of quantities of Kuwaiti export oil usually used in power stations maximizes the added value of the state.
Until the start of operating the Al-Zour refinery, heavy oil is currently being exported to international markets.
Kuwait Oil, in cooperation with the KPC's global marketing sector, has sold an estimated 22 shipments of heavy oil, with an estimated price of more than half a billion dollars.
As for the other benefits of the project, they can be summarized in several main points, most notably, raising the production capacity of Kuwait’s crude oil by developing huge and new oil reserves, qualifying Kuwait to enter new global markets, creating new job opportunities, gaining experience and using new technologies that qualify Kuwaiti workers and officials to operate and produce Heavy oil.
On the challenges of producing heavy oil in Kuwait, Fatima Alaa Taqi said that it is summarized in the fact that the project requires large numbers of skilled workers, and unconventional techniques are used due to many difficulties and complications, including steam injection technology, noting that the heavy oil project is the first of its kind in Kuwait is also considered one of the largest heavy oil projects in the world.
She explained that the history of heavy oil in Kuwait began in 1979 when the first exploration well was drilled in South Ratqa, and in 1982 the implementation of the first experimental steam injection project was started, and on January 27 of 2015 the contract for the Lower Fars project was signed, and in 2016 The contract for the heavy oil fields development project was signed in Umm El-Naga, and in November 2019 the project was started.
And in February of 2020, production began and the first shipment of heavy oil was exported in May 2020, in addition to the arrival of the South Ratqa field, the production target of 60,000 barrels per day, for its first phase within 6 months during the Corona pandemic, and this is a great achievement at the level of global heavy oil production.