MUSCAT: The potential to harness and develop Oman’s largely untapped geothermal resources is among a portfolio of billion-dollar business opportunities that global technology giant SLB (previously known as Schlumberger) is targeting as part of its New Energy unit.
According to Gavin Rennick, President of SLB New Energy, an Oman-centric geothermal initiative, first unveiled late last year, ranks high among a number of carbon capture and green energy projects that are expected to advance during the course of this year.
In a interview to BloombergNEF, a strategic research provider, Rennick underlined the importance of its geothermal initiatives to the core business objectives of SLB’s Energy Unit.
“In geothermal, we are now publicly supporting Oman on their geothermal strategy,” said the official. “We’ve been in the geothermal business now for several decades. We have touched –at some point –80 per cent of the operating geothermal projects in the world. The geothermal business is shifting gears and really starting to accelerate. There is the opportunity for geothermal heat which is a whole different aspect of geothermal that is taking off in certain parts of the world,” he stated.
Last November, SLB revealed that it has been roped in by Oman’s Ministry and Energy and Minerals to chalk out a national strategy to develop the potential of the country’s geothermal resources. Also collaborating in this endeavour is Oman Investment Authority (OIA), the integrated sovereign wealth fund of the Sultanate of Oman.
SLB had announced at the time that it had completed a comprehensive project to evaluate data from more than 7,000 oil, gas and water wells distributed across the length and breadth of Oman. The objective of that exercise, it noted, was to map out “sweet spots for geothermal prospects” in the country. Over a three-month period, SLB experts also assessed surface, subsurface and well data from the Oman Oil & Gas Data Repository (OGDR), the country’s national data repository.
Geothermal and geoenergy together represent one of five focus areas currently in SLB New Energy’s sights as “billion-dollar opportunities” it is currently weighing. The others are: Carbon solutions, Hydrogen, Energy storage and Critical minerals. The New Energy Unit, established in 2020, is targeting around $3 billion of business by the end of this decade, rising to at least $10 billion by the end of the next decade, Rennick added in his comments to BloombergNEF.