By Salah Mohamed Tantawy – Chairman Assistant for Projects Suez Petroleum Company , GUPCO.

Injecting fresh water in wells to increase production has been a long-awaited project for GUPCO’s stakeholders since the time BP’s executives and the EGPC endorsed this method some time ago. The GUPCO LoSal EOR project, will substitute a low-salinity fresh water injection stream in place of the seawater currently utilized for pressure maintenance within the GUPCO Morgan and Badri fields.

Extensive laboratory studies, well tests, and field trials have shown that the injection of low salinity water into clastic reservoirs reduces residual oil saturation relative to seawater injection. This has been demonstrated to be true for rocks in the Gulf of Suez and has significantly enhanced oil recoverability. A detailed study performed using BP’s proprietary tools estimates that an incremental 20m barrels of oil, with peak incremental production of 6,000 b/d could be produced from the Morgan and Badri fields alone by implementing BP’s proprietary LoSal EOR injection technology.

The scope of the GUPCO LoSal EOR project includes an onshore reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant processing 40,000 m3/day of desalinated water, complete with its standalone power generation facilities with an estimated capacity of 6-8 MW, along with ancillary equipment and upgrades to the existing GUPCO Morgan water flood plant located in Ras Shuker.

The project will be tendered based on a Build, Own, and Operate (BOO) arrangement. In the BOO contracting model, GUPCO will invite bids from companies with expertise and experience in desalination and power generation facilities to submit technical and commercial proposals to finance, design, install, operate, and maintain the required desalination facilities and to sell the desalinated water to GUPCO. GUPCO will purchase the desalinated water at a competitively tendered rate under a water purchase agreement for a term of 10 years, as determined from reservoir evaluation studies.

ENPPI engineering consultants have been awarded a bid to develop the tender documents and PETROSAFE has been appointed as an environmental advisor.

The tender document is due to be released soon. However, an exact timetable has not yet been confirmed. This is expected for the third quarter of 2015, and the RFQ will be issued relatively quickly following the pre-qualification process. Awarding the BOO contract is planned to be signed off on early 2016.

This project is set to be the first application of BP‘s Proprietary LoSal EOR technology within the region of the Gulf of Suez.