Khalid bin Hadi, CEO, Siemens Energy Oman

OmanICT

Economic View

22 Sep 2020
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On tapping new technologies to enhance production

How do you assess the potential for further digitalisation in Oman’s energy sector?

KHALID BIN HADI: Digitalisation is necessary to drive efficiency, productivity and sustainability in Oman’s energy sector, as well as in the region and the world. The business model for companies in the industry has changed as customers seek value-added, long-term partnerships. 

Siemens Energy has invested in its digitalisation transformation, which will help us maximise production from existing assets, develop new resources and improve operations. 

Such solutions include both access and monitoring digital schemes, as well as the heightening of assets’ safety and security. This is because at the end of the day, what customers want is to optimise costs, efficiency and productivity, while ensuring the security of their assets. Indeed, this is true throughout the value chain, from upstream to downstream, for both brownfield and greenfield projects – and is more relevant amid greater oil price volatility. 

Efforts to enrich cybersecurity are growing in tandem with digitalisation, especially in the energy sector as it is a fundamental part of a country’s infrastructure and national security. There can be no digital transformation without cybersecurity. Towards that end, we are making our industrial cybersecurity capabilities available to our customers, with around 1300 experts in the field. This is important because reaction time is of the essence, and as such we develop incident response plans and provide operational technology support, both remotely and in the field. 

Although there have been significant advances in Oman in terms of digitalisation, there is still space for the energy sector to invest further in order to boost efficiency, quality and productivity, while optimising costs in the long term.

To what extent can enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques bolster Oman’s oil production? 

BIN HADI: Central to EOR is bringing down costs and increasing efficiency, productivity and safety, and the application of such solutions is necessary to serve customers’ objectives and create more value from production. EOR techniques are expected to account for 25% of the country’s oil production by 2025. 

It is imperative to continuously invest in research and development (R&D). The market is rapidly changing, and this is affecting business operations in the energy sector. We need to adapt to those changes at pace in order to keep up with the expectations of our customers. 

What kind of investment is necessary to ensure a sustainable energy and water system that can meet the future demand for electricity and other utilities? 

BIN HADI: Siemens has been operating in Oman since 1974 and is responsible for generating, transmitting and distributing around 60% of the country’s electricity. We will continue to support the sultanate’s energy transition and decarbonisation efforts in line with Vision 2040. For example, in January 2019 we were awarded a contract to supply the Duqm Integrated Power and Water project with gas and steam turbines for long-term power generation, as well as digital solutions. 

Siemens Energy is also responsible for the development of two key power plants in Oman, Barka II and III, each adding 750 MW to the power supply. We invest in the country because we see the potential to build robust grid structures, as well as boost power transmission stability and the digital grid. R&D will play a notable role in the transformation of Oman’s energy industry and we will continue to advance such efforts into the future. 

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