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Nimr Reed Beds

This project is now widely acknowledged as one of the most innovative environmentally friendly schemes in the world’s oil and gas sector and has won multiple awards.

​The site is currently treating more than 700,000 barrels of produced water a day at a fraction of the cost and energy intensity of conventional deep water disposal. The shutdown of five out of 12 deep well disposal pumps means the 10.5 km² green desert sc

How it works

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.

Global Water Award

The Nimr Reeds Bed project team has won the gold award at the prestigious Emirates Energy Awards in Dubai in the “Large Energy Project” category with partners Bauer Nimr LLC.

The award is the latest in a string of accolades for the Nimr Reed Beds project which is currently treating approximately 760,000 barrels of produced water a day at a fraction of the cost and energy intensity of conventional deepwater disposal. In total, the Nimr Water Treatment Plant has now treated approximately 980 million barrels of produced water and recovered around 500,000 barrels of oil since operations began in October 2010.

Among other prizes, the team has also won the Best MENA Oil & Gas HSE Project at ADIPEC 2012, GCC and National Winner in the Sustainability Category at the MEED Quality Awards for Projects 2012 and the Global Water Award Winner in 2011.

A further expansion of the reed beds and other low-energy reuse and disposal alternatives such as surface evaporation at Fahud and Al Ghubar are also being evaluated.