Dr. Nader Mosavat, Director of Engineering and Technology Faculty at Muscat University, has served as technical committee member and technical sessions chair for the World Heavy Oil Congress & Exhibition (WHOC), held in Oman Convention & Exhibition Center, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman from Monday 3 – Wednesday 5 September 2018. “With depleting conventional oil and gas reserves, heavy oil plays an important role in shaping the global energy outlook. The focus should be on sustainable heavy oil production and processing methods which are environmentally friendly and less energy-intensive. We require to update our programmes and curriculum to incorporate heavy oil-related contents. In this regard, effective engagement and collaboration with international industry leaders and the sultanate’s oil and gas sector are crucial”, Dr. Nader Said. The 2018 World Heavy Oil Congress & Exhibition (WHOC), hosted under the theme ‘Transforming the heavy oil value chain’, is the largest congregation of heavy oil professionals globally and provides an invaluable platform for the global heavy oil industry to gather and learn from each other.
Dr Ali Al Gheithy, Petroleum Engineering Function Director at Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), also highlighted the role of collaborative R&D in heavy oil exploitation. Dr. Ali who was the chairman of the 2018 WHOC mentioned that “Contributing to 15% of the Sultanate’s overall oil production, heavy oil plays an extremely important role in Oman’s oil and gas industry. Despite a challenging economic environment, Petroleum Development Oman is spearheading innovation and continuing to identify novel EOR techniques to maximize production from our four active heavy oil fields with particular focus on the Amal West field and the Miraah Solar plant, it is anticipated that by 2025 more than 23% of PDO’s production will come from EOR projects”.
Dr. Neshaat Nasser, Associate Professor from the University of Calgary also highlighted the role of international collaboration in sustainable deployment of heavy oil reserves. “Academia is the interface between the community and the industry and is responsible for education in heavy oil upgrading and recovery. In fact, industry requires the source of knowledge from the academia in terms of fundamental and practical science and also to develop work-ready professionals. The engagement of academia with industrial R&D center is a constructive enabler toward resolving the current challenges in heavy oil industry”, Prof. Neshaat mentioned. During the meeting, it has been decided to initiate the Muscat-Calgary collaboration through academic engagement and R&D projects.