SUEZ signs major industrial contract in Oman

SUEZ has been awarded by Petroleum Development Oman, the leading oil & gas exploration and production company in the Sultanate, a Design Build Own Operate and Maintain (DBOOM) contract for the treatment of 40,000m3 each day of produced water coming from oil fields located in Rima, about 700km south of Muscat, capital of Oman. This 20-year contract is worth €120 million ($145.9 million) in total revenues.

This contract aims at implementing alternative techniques to treat and dispose produced water, which is the oily wastewater generated during the extraction and recovery of oil. A large quantity of produced water is being generated from oil fields, depending on oil fields, one barrel of oil produces five to ten barrels of water. To ensure that this water is treated and disposed safely without harming the environment, SUEZ will implement an innovative treatment system to avoid deep well aquifers contamination, reduce energy consumption and enhance biodiversity.

Within this contract, SUEZ, main shareholder with 51% and its partners, Merit National Investments (LLC) and Al-Shawamikh Oil Services (SAOG), with a 24.5% stake each, will be financing, constructing and operating for 20 years large wetland system and evaporation ponds over a surface of more than 400 hectares, using a technology designed by Wolf-Dieter Rausch, CTO of SusTeco (Sustainable Technology LLC).

A series of basins will be built over a period of two years, seeded with different species of algae. The produced water will be circulating through these basins and purified by biological actions which consist of biodegradation by microalgae and bacteria. The succession of varying wetland environments, with different flow speeds and depths of water develops these different mechanisms for pollutant absorption and will naturally treat the produced water. Once cleaned, the produced water will be disposed into 300 hectares ponds to be naturally evaporated beneath the Omani desert sun.

This natural and environmentally friendly treatment system will avoid the disposal of hydrocarbon-polluted produced water in the deep well aquifers. It will also significantly reduce the oilfield’s carbon footprint with 180 T of avoided carbon dioxide emissions equivalents (CO2e) per day, or 65.7 KT per year. It will also generate 82 GWh savings in energy per year, compared to the conventional, energy-intensive disposal method of pumping the water into deep aquifers under high pressure. Additionally, this project will enhance biodiversity in the desert and create a habitat for wildlife species providing sustainable living conditions for flora and fauna.