oil and gas

Omani oil firm weighs ‘blue hydrogen’ production to power electric vehicles

February 23, 2021

One-of-a-kind project: ARA Petroleum’s venture has three key objectives: harnessing solar energy to generate electricity; producing ‘blue hydrogen’ from flare gas to power fuel cell electric vehicles and capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the second process to be sold as feedstock to Omani industries

ARA Petroleum, a wholly Omani owned upstream energy firm, says its partnership with a Japanese conglomerate in the development of a unique hybrid project will contribute to the production of, among other commodities, ‘blue hydrogen’ to power a fleet of fuel cell electric vehicles in its concession areas.
Muscat-based ARA Petroleum, 100 per cent owned by Zubair Corporation LLC, has sizable investments in the upstream Exploration & Production (E&P) segment of Oman’s hydrocarbon industry.
The company has a 100 per cent interest in Block 44 in northwest Oman, a 1,162 sq km concession that holds the Shams and Munhamir fields. A year later, the company signed an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) for Block 31, a 1,528 sq km concession located immediately adjacent to Block 44.
Earlier, ARA Petroleum began its debut in the E&P sector with the signing of a contract with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) to operate the Qarat Al-Milh Small Fields (QSF) contract area in 2016.
Last month, ARA Petroleum announced a partnership with Japanese multinational Sumitomo Corporation to study the feasibility of developing a hybrid project to provide “an integrated clean energy infrastructure solution” for the former’s operations in the Sultanate.
Billed as a one-of-a-kind project, it has three key objectives: harnessing solar energy to generate electricity, producing ‘blue hydrogen’ from flare gas and capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the second process to be sold as feedstock to Omani industries. A 20 megawatt (MW) solar power scheme is envisioned for development as part of the hybrid project.
In a statement, ARA Petroleum said the hybrid project will help the company achieve its goal of becoming a CO2 neutral hydrocarbon producer.
“This project is a key transitional element in pursuing its strategy towards reducing flaring and capturing CO2. The joint project between the two companies will provide a unique clean solution to hydrocarbon production and is the first of its kind in the Sultanate of Oman. It will be a showcase for utilisation of new green technologies.”
Sultan al Ghaithi, ARA Petroleum CEO, remarked: “One of the most robust design elements of this hybrid project is the ease to replicate the concept in other ARA Petroleum fields and any E&P operation in Oman where associated gas is currently being flared.”
He added that the project will help develop Omani competencies in the field of hydrogen.


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