The Oman Drilling Project Underway: Updates from the Field

The Oman Drilling Project, co-sponsored by the Deep Carbon Observatory, began operations on 18 December 2016.

Diamond coring is taking place at four sites in the southeast end of the Samail Ophiolite complex during Phase 1, which will last approximately four months, finishing in late March or early April 2017.

DCO collaborators Michelle Harris (Plymouth University, UK), and Jude Coggon (University of Southampton, UK) provided a few photos highlighting the progress of drilling work to date. The first shows some of the drilling team members Nicolas Bompard, Juerg Matter, Michelle Harris, and Dominik Mock (left to right). 


On 25 December, after clearing and setting up the site, the team celebrated Christmas with their first cores.


By 28 December, the team had hit a rhythm, producing 3 meters of core every hour. In this photo, Michelle Harris holds a 1.85m gabbro core.


On 29 December, a group of Japanese scientists visited the site. Cores from Phase I of the Oman Drilling Project will be transported to the Japanese Drilling Vessel Chikyu for logging. 


On January 8 the scientific party changed over, with new researchers arriving on the site to continue reconstructing layered gabbro cores. 


On 14 January, the Oman Drilling Project’s Chief Scientist Peter Kelemen (third from left) arrived at the drill site. The team also welcomed Local Project Manager Zaher Al Suleimani (second from left). 


On 20 January, Driller Wali moved the drill rig to the next site, GT1 (lower crust; Photo credit: Benoit Ildefonse). 


The team is now collecting beautiful layered olivine gabbro cores (Photo credit: Benoit Ildefonse). 


DCO early career scientist Ana Jesus also welcomed her students from the German University of Technology in Muscat, Oman, to the drill site.



For more information about the Oman Drilling Project, visit

For live updates from the field, follow the Oman Drilling Project on Facebook and Twitter

Further Reading

DCO Research Subseafloor Biofilms Grow with the Flow

To find out what kinds of microbes live in the nooks and crannies of the ocean crust, researchers…

DCO Highlights A Trip to Collect Diamonds Only a Scientist Could Love

Earlier this year, DCO researchers traveled to the Juína municipality in Brazil, an area that has…

DCO Research The Seas Are Alive with the Sound of Methane

Researchers adapted sonar equipment to quantify the amount of methane bubbling up from the floor of…

DCO ABOVE Expedition
DCO Highlights DCO ABOVE Expedition: Updates from the Field

DCO ABOVE (Aerial-based Observations of Volcanic Emissions) is the second part of a DCO-funded…

Back to top