Could you provide us with a description of Daleel's operations since its inception in 2002?
Daleel has gone through a tremendous transformation. We started as a small company, producing 4,500 bbl/d, and then embarked on major studies to understand our reservoirs and gauge the potential reserves volumes in the concession block. That was followed by extensive appraisal drilling and technology trials with which we could pin down the strategy of our development. Those trials and evaluations were successful and enabled us to implement water flood in the Shuaiba reservoir in the Daleel field. After that, we worked on expanding the water flood to other areas. Today, we produce 43,000 bbl/d, 10 times what we started with.
Daleel is Oman's third largest producer after Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and Oxy. What factors led you to become one of the main players in this industry?
Similar to other oil and gas companies, we have a structured approach toward the oil and gas business and try to run it in the most efficient manner possible, which adds value. Carrying out proper studies as a basis for the field development plans, appraising the fields, utilizing new technologies, and building employees' competence are some of the main factors that led the company to be among the top players in the oil and gas sector. We also have great shareholders, both our private shareholders and the ministry. They have supported our programs and put trust in us, enabling the company to develop the way it has done over the past 12 years.
Daleel is operating in a block almost 500 kilometers from Muscat. How extensive are your remaining reserves?
We have increased our reserves considerably as of January 2014. Our reserve base looks solid and we are looking for further growth using new technologies. Currently, we are in secondary recovery, which is the water flood, but we are preparing for the future. We are investigating enhanced oil recovery (EOR) with pilots during 2014 for surfactant and enzyme flooding. We are carrying out trials into further infield drilling for smaller well spacing. If these all prove successful, our future path will be well defined and developed, and will enable us to sustain our production levels. That work is ongoing and will take one or two years for us to be able to define the potential available to us; however, we believe that the potential is there. So far, surfactant flooding has yielded positive results. At Daleel, we want to improve our drilling performance and the drilling team, for example, looks at the latest technologies through which to achieve that. As of 2013, we acquired a seismic survey for the whole block, which is due to be completed by the end of June 2014. This survey uses advanced technology with wide azimuth and high-density coverage, which will actually give us higher resolution for both shallow and deep reservoirs. For now, we are only producing from the shallow reservoirs; however, we want to see if there is a possibility for deep reservoirs as well. We use SCADA for well monitoring, which offers better surveillance of the wells and the subsurface parameters. We are trying hydro-jet injection technology to increase well performance.
How do you see Oman's production capabilities changing?
I think it will only get better. Oil doesn't come out easily in Oman. We have had a hard time since day one. Our reservoirs are complicated and production is not easy. Other countries in the region have it a lot easier. The upside of that is that Oman is at the forefront of technology utilization, especially EOR. This places Oman in a position for continued improving and developing.