The Nimr Water Treatment Project (NWTP) is considered to be the largest industrial constructed wetland system in the world, consisting of a series of sloping reed fields and evaporation ponds, in all the size of 640 football pitches, which processes over 110,000 m3/day (more than 690,000 barrels/day) of produced water from the Nimr oilfields in the southern Oman desert.
This natural treatment system consists of a passive oil-water separator, 380 hectares of surface flow wetlands and 300 hectares of evaporation ponds and has been instrumental in reducing the amount of hydrocarbon-polluted produced water being disposed to the deep well aquifers. The NWTP, being a gravity flow system, uses minimal fossil fuel for its operation and therefore results in an enormous saving in energy consumption compared to the conventional, energy-intensive disposal method of pumping the water more than 1.5 km below ground into deep aquifers under high pressure.
PDO planted more than 1.2 million seedlings to create the wetland which has become a desert habitat for close to 100 species of birds, including flamingos, sand martins, cuckoos, wagtails, barn swallows, rednecked phalaropes, and black-crowned sparrow larks, as well as insects, small reptiles and fish.
The reeds themselves form a wetland covering around 2.4 million square metres of previously arid desert. They are irrigated by water that is a by-product of our oil production activities in Nimr, a field that is the top producer within our portfolio but which has long been characterised by the high percentage of water that also comes to the surface with its oil.