Energy giant BP has begun production ahead of schedule at the giant Khazzan gas field in Oman, the company's largest start-up project of 2017.
The site is operated by BP in partnership with Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production, and is expected to supply the Sultanate of Oman with one billion cubic feet of gas a day.
The Khazzan tight gas reserves lie at depths of up to 5km in narrow bands of hard, dense rock. The company said specialised drilling equipment has been used to create vertical and horizontal wells, while well stimulation techniques also help to free the gas.
Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, has been used in phase one of the project to create 200 wells that feed into a central processing facility. Once the second phase of the project is complete there will be about 300 wells in operation, resulting in a daily output of 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas. BP estimates both phases will develop a combined 10.5 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas resources.
His Excellency Dr Mohammed Al Rumhy, minister of oil and gas of the Sultanate of Oman, said: "I am delighted to see BP delivering Phase One of the Khazzan Project within time and budget. This will result in realising more gas reserves and more production of gas that our country needs to support our energy planning and requirements."
Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive, described the start of production at the Khazzan gas field as an important milestone in BP's strategic partnership with Oman.
He said: "With further development already planned, this giant field has the potential to produce gas for Oman for decades to come.
"Khazzan further demonstrates BP's ability to consistently deliver large, complex projects on schedule and within budget while applying the industry-leading skills and technology we've developed globally. In this case, tight gas techniques we perfected in the US have been brought to Oman and we are very pleased with the results."