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BP mulls over world-scale petrochemical complex in Oman

BP considers to invest $1 billion in Duqm Acetic Acid 

The UK-based international oil company BP is considering to build a greenfield acetic acid plant at Duqm in the south of Oman using newly developed SaaBre technology.

For years BP is well known to have concentrated its capital expenditure and technical expertise on the upstream sector considering that downstream activities do not return same profitability.

But low standing prices on gas and technology may change the name of the game.

BP_Duqm_Acetic_Acid_Project_MapEnd of last year BP and its local partner, the Oman Oil Company (OOC) decided to invest $16 billion capital expenditure in the exploration and development of the Khazzan and Makarem tight gas project in the famous Block 61.

With this project, Oman will become a large producer of natural gas.

But the Sultanate strategy is to primarily to monetize this gas locally through a still-to-be developed petrochemical industry.

Since the Block 61 is located right in the center of the country, Oman is planning a large pipelines system to supply future industrial cities.

As the nearest main city with deep water access to the sea Duqm has been selected as the first location to convert this gas.

Due to become one of the largest industrial city in Oman with multiple projects including refineries, petrochemical complex and import-export terminal of hydrocarbon products, Duqm offers the best opportunity to BP settle its greenfield acetic acid project.

BP to test at world-scale its SaaBre Acetic Acid patent

Acetic acid is one of the fundamental building block of the petrochemical industry as it is used for adhesives, paints, solvents and to produce purified terephthalic acid (PTA), one of the most common polymers at the source of the multiple forms of polyesters.

As all the other countries in the Gulf looking for jobs creation industries the petrochemical sector is strategic for the Sultanate of Oman.

BP's Whiting refinery, Chicago, USA.Each $ billion invested in the downstream sector is generating four times more jobs than the same $ billion spent upstream in the oil and gas exploration -production.

In proposing such a project BP is optimizing the local value of its investment in Oman.

In addition, BP will introduce with this Duqm Acetic Acid project its proprietary technology called Duqm Acetic Acid project .

Presented in November 2013, the SaaBre patented process is able to convert synthetic gas into acetic acid without requiring methanol and saving the carbon monoxide (CO) purification operation.

Based on three-phases process, the BP SaaaBre technology avoids the conventional methanol carbonylation operation and related costs.

Overall BP SaaBre patent is reducing the capital intensity in the production of a critical  petrochemical product as acetic acid can be.

In introducing it in Oman where it can benefit from a competitive price of the natural gas as feedstock, BP provides Oman with the guarantee of a long standing competitive advantage all along its downstream petrochemical industry, in beginning with this $1 billion Duqm Acetic Acid project expected to come on stream in 2019

For more information and data about oil and gas and petrochemical projects go to Project Smart Explorer

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