Glass innovation in Oman

Date: 5 June 2013

In the desert of southern Oman, near the border with Yemen, 4 acres of glass houses catch the sun. They sit in the Amal West oilfield, operated by Petroleum Development Oman.     When it comes to developing its oil and gas reserves Oman faces a conundrum.

The small country on the southeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula has a lot of oil, but it is mostly of the heavy kind. Far from gushing up out of the sands, this oil needs to be eased out of its reservoirs. To do that, Petroleum Development Oman, blasts steam down into the oil reservoirs to loosen up the crude and push it up to the surface. But, heating water to make that steam for injection requires a lot of energy.

A solution could be on the horizon. At PDO’s Amal West oil field in southern Oman, a California-based company called GlassPoint has installed an innovative solar system that seeks to assist in the steam-generation process by boiling water with sunshine.

From outside, the GlassPoint installation doesn’t look a thing like any normal solar project. It’s not photovoltaic-based, and there are no solar-concentrating dishes. Instead, these glasshouses are filled with flimsy mirrors. Glasspoint’s technique enables them to use cheaper, lightweight materials. The glass also protects the equipment from dust and the elements.

The Oman project, covering 4 acres and generating the equivalent of 7 mw of energy per day, is only a test pilot. But so far the tests look good.

“Such innovative use of glass technology is a clear indicator of the efforts companies looking to penetrate the Gulf region are prepared to extend to” says Derek Burston, exhibition director Gulf Glass 2013. “It’s clear that is why although many other markets are slowing at present, the MENA sector is continuing to prove its credentials as a major glass consuming market” he adds.

Gulf Glass 2013 is the fifth in the biennial series, and is on target to attract over 220 exhibitors to the Dubai World Trade Centre in September. With a record number of pre-event registrations already being seen, the timing of the event – falling a year from Glasstec – has seen it emerge as a new, meeting place for the industry in the year’s between the popular Duesseldorf show.

“The glass industry needs someone easy to get to, and preferably with a dynamic market on its doorstep” adds Burston “and having spent six years lobbying to get the show to Dubai, we are convinced that Gulf Glass will continue to grow as a biennial, global meeting event” he concludes.

To reserve your space at this year’s most exciting glass show, contact the team now, or directly by email to

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