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Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has announced plans to expand the Nimr reed-bed project in Oman to help increase the country's water handling capacity and make greater use of produced water
The project has transformed 2.4mn square metres of desert land in Nimr into a green expanse, which was achieved by planting 2mn reeds to absorb oil and other contaminants from produced water, coming out of the ground while extracting hydrocarbons.
The 1.5mn sq m of evaporation ponds at the project have also been instrumental in reducing the amount of hydrocarbon-polluted produced water and now provide a valuable habitat for migratory birds, including flamingos and sand martins.
PDO’s Nimr Cluster is also currently negotiating with Bauer Nimr, the project operator, to look into the greater use of produced water, most likely for reverse osmosis, enhanced oil recovery, steam generation, drilling, production of industrial salt and bio-saline agriculture.
There is also a proposal to handle an additional 150,000 cubic metres of produced water each day, Nimr sources said.
Terence Shelby, plant manager at Nimr Water Treatment Plant (NWTP), Bauer Nimr, said the project is currently handling 100,000 cubic metres of water daily, and the next phase, which is under development, will handle an additional 150,000 cubic metres of water per day.
Shelby said the project will also produce commercial salt from the produced water, which is highly saline.
“Salt production is likely to start within the next two to three years, and we expect to produce 212,376 cubic metres of salt per year,” Shelby remarked.