MAIN REGIONAL OIL AND GAS EXPANSION PLANS
 
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GOVT REVENUE IN OMAN SURGE BY 11PC

MUSCAT - Government revenues in Oman surged by nearly 11 per cent in the first ‎‎10 months of the year. Revenues reached RO2,729.8 million, compared with ‎RO2,465.4 million in the corresponding period of 2002, up 10.7 per cent, according ‎to statistics released by the Ministry of National Economy. The budget showed a ‎surplus of RO368.1 million for the period, compared to a surplus of RO306 million in ‎the first 10 months of last year. ‎

Oil receipts rose by 6.7 per cent to RO1,922.9 million from RO1,802.2 million, while ‎liquefied natural gas sales fetched RO60.9 million, as against RO58.1 million, up 4.8 ‎per cent. Revenue from customs was higher by 9.5 per cent at RO46.1 million and ‎from corporate tax by 12 per cent at RO58.7 million. Capital revenues fell by 37.3 ‎per cent to RO7.9 million from RO12.6 million.‎

Public expenditure recorded a rise of 9.4 per cent - from RO2,159.4 million RO ‎‎2,361.7 million. This was attributed to a 6.4 per cent rise in current spending which ‎stood at RO1,790.7 million against RO1,683.3 million, and a 20.5 per cent jump in ‎investment spending to RO542.7 million from RO450.2 million.‎

Source : Khaleej Times 31 December 2003 ‎

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GASCO RELEASES EPC TENDER FOR OGD - III

TAbu Dhabi Gas Industries (Gasco) released its biggest ever enquiry for fixed price ‎lump sum contract for engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning ‎and start-up (EPC) works for its onshore gas development phase III (OGD-III) ‎project at Habshan, Abu Dhabi.‎

Gasco stated in a Press release that the enquiry was issued to six pre-qualified ‎bidders namely Bechtel , UK, Chiyoda , Japan, Kellog Brown ' Roots, USA, JGC ‎Corporation, Japan, Snamprogetti, Italy, and Technip, France. ‎

The company expects to receive the technical bids in March 2004. It is planned to ‎award the contract in the same year and the plant start-up is slated in the year ‎‎2007. OGD-III forms the biggest of all five EPC packages under the overall OGD-III ' ‎AGD-II scheme. OGD-III is designed to produce 130,000 barrels per day of ‎condensate and 11,800 tonnes per day natural gas liquids (NGL). The techno-‎economic feasibility study (pre-feed) for the total scheme was performed by ‎Fluor, USA, in 2000 / 2001 and the front end engineering design (feed) for the ‎overall project was developed by Bechtel in 2002 / 2003, with Foster Wheler, UK, ‎as the project management consultant for the project. ‎

Gasco also stated that the schedule for releasing the EPC package for Asab Gas ‎Development phase II and ruwais 3rd NGL train will be set later. Abu Dhabi Gas ‎industries (Gasco) is the operating company in Abu Dhabi responsible for ‎processing onshore natural gas and associated gas from onshore oil production. ‎


Source : Khaleej Times 27 December 2003 ‎

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MALAYSIAN FIRM JOINS UK LNG PROJECT

Dutch oil refiner Petroplus said recently that Malaysia's national oil ‎firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) intended to take a stake in its planned ‎liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Wales. ‎

Petroplus said it signed a letter of intent under which Petronas would take a 30 per ‎cent stake in the project at Milford Haven, which is expected to start importing ‎the fuel to Britain in 2007. ‎
Petronas would contract 2.2 million tonnes of capacity per year at the import ‎facility, half the plant's initial planned capacity.‎

In November, Petroplus signed a memorandum of understanding with BG Energy ‎Holding, a unit of Britain's BG Group, under which BG would contract the other ‎half of the terminal's capacity and acquire a 50 per cent stake in the project. ‎Analysts expect the project to cost about $300 million. Petroplus shares were flat ‎at 6.20 euros by 1120GMT.‎

LNG is gas which has been supercooled into liquid form so it can be transported ‎by ship, rather than by pipeline, enabling producers to target global markets ‎rather than regional markets linked by pipelines.‎

On arrival, the LNG is processed back into conventional gas and fed into local ‎grids. The Petroplus project is one of several LNG terminals proposed in the UK. ‎Britain's dependence on imported gas is set to grow as North Sea supplies dwindle ‎and LNG is expected to grab a share of the UK market in the future. ‎

Source :  (REUTERS) Khaleej Times 26 December 2003‎

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OMAN AND THAILAND TO BOOST TIES IN OIL AND GAS

Discussions were held here on Saturday between top officials of the ‎Sultanate and Thailand, one of the major buyers of Omani crude, aimed at further ‎stepping up bilateral ties, particularly in the oil and gas sector. ‎

Visiting Thai Energy Minister Dr Prommin Lertsuridej conferred with Oil and Gas ‎Minister Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhi, Commerce and Industry Minister ‎Maqbool bin Ali Sultan and other Omani officials.‎

Thailand is third on the list of countries importing oil from Oman, accounting for ‎nearly 20 per cent of the Sultanate's crude shipments. Dr Lertsuridej's talks with Dr ‎Rumhi explored ways to develop cooperation in the energy sector and other ‎related issues. The discussions were attended by Oil and Gas Under-Secretary ‎Nassir bin Khamis Al Jashmi.‎

Source : Khaleej Times 22 December 2003‎
                                                                                                          
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OIL EXPLORATION TO FOCUS ON ABU DHABI

The main focus of oil and gas explorations in the country in recent ‎years has centred round the emirates of Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al ‎Quwain, where the Norwegian company Atlantis Holdings holds the explorations ‎licences. ‎
These efforts have resulted in several significant finds including a promising gas ‎discovery in Sharjah and reapprisal and drilling of a gas field originally discovered ‎off Umm Al Quwain but not previously developed.‎

However, the real focus of growth in oil and gas production over the coming ‎years will be in Abu Dhabi where the vast majority of the known reserves are ‎located, said the publication of the Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company ‎‎(Adma-Opco). Half of Abu Dhabi's current oil production capacity comes from ‎the offshore field (1.25 million barrels per day) and nearly the other half from ‎onshore fields (1.2mb/d). The development programme aims at maintaining this ‎balance with an addition of around 200,000 b/d to each system. The emirate ‎holds 94 per cent of the country's total proven oil reserves of 97.8 billion barrels ‎and 92.5 per cent of its natural gas reserves of 212 trillion cubic feet. ‎


Source : Khaleej Times 22 December 2003

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$800M METHANOL PROJECT TO BE SET UP IN OMAN

Oman's ambitious plans to create a heavy industry base in the country ‎using its abundant natural gas reserves as the feedstock received a timely boost ‎with the signing here on Wednesday of a joint venture agreement for setting up a ‎methanol project involving a total capital outlay of around $800 million in Sohar in ‎the Batinah region. ‎

The $400 million first phase of the plant, being set up by the newly formed Oman ‎Methanol Company (OMC), is expected to be completed by the end of 2006. ‎The ultra-modern facility will have a capacity of 2,500 to 3,000 tonnes per day ‎‎(tpd) using ICI technology. ‎

Seventy per cent of the cost will be financed through loans and the rest raised by ‎promoters who said they expected financial closure for the first phase early in the ‎third quarter of next year. Addressing a news conference after signing the JV ‎deal, they said they intended to start executing the second phase, estimated to ‎cost another $400 million, within two years from the financial closure of the first. ‎

The promoters of OMC are Oman Methanol Holding Company (OMHC), ‎Methanol Holding (Trinidad) Limited, Trinidad and Tobago (MHTL), and Ferrostaal ‎AG (FS) of Germany.‎
OMHC will have a 30 per cent stake in OMC and MHTL and FS 50 per cent and 30 ‎per cent, respectively. OMHC is owned by Dr Omar bin Abdulmunim Al Zawawi, ‎Adviser to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said for External Liaison and a leading ‎Omani businessman.‎

Also present were Commerce and Industry Minister Maqbool bin Ali Sultan and Oil ‎and Gas Minister Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhi together with ‎representatives of Helm AG, the product off-taker, KFW, the proposed lender to ‎the project, PROMAN AG, the construction contractor and Industrial Plant ‎Services Limited, the O& M contractor.‎

Sultan said the plant, although privately owned, would be a "national project", ‎adding that the government always supported such ventures. He assured that the ‎OMC project would be provided with all facilities, including natural gas at a ‎‎"suitable price."‎

Explaining his company's decision to invest in the Sultanate, he said: "We have ‎been looking all over the world for a friendly government. We found one in ‎Oman." MTHL already owns four methanol plants in Trinidad and Tobago and is ‎currently in the process of constructing the world's largest methanol unit with a ‎capacity of 5,400tpd.‎

Ing. Axel Wippermann, executive board member of FS, said the plant, ‎strategically located in the Sohar industrial estate, would provide direct ‎employment to about 100 "highly qualified" people. He added Asia and Europe ‎would be the major markets for OMC's output.‎

Source :
Khaleej Times 19 December 2003 ‎

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OMAN SIGNS SERIES OF DEALS FOR SOHAR REFINERY PROJECT

An RO1.2 billion new oil refinery project in Oman, due to be ‎commissioned in 2006, has received a major fillip with the conclusion of a series of ‎deals covering financial guarantees, construction, supply of feedstock and use of ‎land. ‎

The refinery, located in the Sohar industrial estate and fully owned by the ‎government, will consist of a crude unit with a capacity of 116,400 barrels per day ‎‎(bpd) and a residue fluid catalytic cracking unit (RFCCU) with a 75,260bpd ‎capacity.‎

Oil and Gas Minister Dr Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhi, speaking to reporters at ‎a ceremony when the agreements were signed, said the Sohar refinery, one of ‎the biggest industrial ventures being carried out in the country, was the first ‎refinery project to be successfully financed in the Middle East by banks within the ‎last 10 years.‎

He added that 90 per cent of its total cost was financed through debt, pointing ‎out that the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation had offered a direct ‎loan of $261.9 million, while Nippon Exports Insurance Company provided a joint ‎financing of $261.9 million. Another 10 international and regional banks had ‎agreed to offer loans worth $907.8 million, he said.‎

He added a 250-kilometre-long pipeline would be built to transport fuel oil and ‎crude oil from Mina Al-Fahal to the refinery, located near the Sohar Port "with its ‎good storing and loading facilities."‎

The Finance Ministry owns 80 per cent of the new refinery and the Oman Oil ‎Company the remaining 20 per cent. The refinery will initially export 90 per cent of ‎its products through a 10-year off take pact with BP, while the balance will be sold ‎within the country.‎

Japan's JGC Corporation is the EPC contractor, ABB Lummus the project ‎management company and LG the operation and maintenance contractor. ‎Bank of America Securities has appointed financial advisor.‎


Source : Khaleej Times 17 December 2003‎      
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FS INTERNATIONAL SIGNS $47 MILLION DEAL

The Dubai-based FS International FZCO signed an agreement to form a ‎joint venture with Denaro International Inc of the US, for the sale and ‎implementation of the world's most advanced fuel vapour recovery systems. The ‎contract is estimated at $47million. ‎

FS International in collaboration with its American/Japanese partners shall head ‎the effort to substantially reduce the gasoline vapour released at gas stations. This ‎recovery system is unique and one of a kind. "With more than 400 stations in the ‎UAE there is a significant amount of gasoline vapour released into the air every ‎year. Our mission is simple: cleaner environment and less toxic air," said Fadi ‎Semaan, FS International's Managing Director. ‎
FS International acquired the rights to solely represent Denaro Japan and Denaro ‎International USA as the business partners for the whole region inclusive of all Gulf ‎Arab states and some other countries including Jordan. The company will use ‎Permeator Vapour Recovery System, which is designed to prevent vapour loss ‎from the gasoline station's underground storage tanks by filtering the vapour ‎through a patented membrane system and returning it to the tank.‎

‎"We have the technology to make our air less polluted and a healthier working ‎environment. We hope that this shall be the start of a similar operation with our ‎American/Japanese counterparts that shall be under way in the rest of the Gulf ‎states as part of our phase II within 12-18 months from now," added Semaan.‎

‎"The amount of gasoline lost to the gas companies through evaporation has been ‎estimated to be in excess of $10 million every year," said Takamaro Toyooka, ‎President of Denaro, Japan. "Having this system in each gas station makes them a ‎more efficient, environmentally healthier and a safer place to be in," Semaan ‎said. ‎

‎"With the Permeator installed the only emission from the station vent pipes is fresh ‎air," said Toyooka. "The UAE, long a proponent of responsible growth and ‎development, shall become the first country to showcase the cleanliness and ‎environmentally friendly gas stations to the region," Semaan explained. "The UAE ‎was selected due to the vast efforts made by our great leaders who have ‎supported many environmentally friendly "green" products," said Toyooka, who is ‎also the CEO of Denaro Japan/USA Joint venture.‎

Jebel Ali-headquartered FS International FZCO provides the oil and gas sector ‎with engineering added value products/services.‎

Source : Khaleej Times 15 December 2003‎
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RUSSIAN OIL ENGINEERS VISIT UAE

Recently, a delegation of Russian Oil Engineers and Scientists visited the ‎UAE, headed by Mr Olfat Ismaguilov, chief geologist , Tatnefteotdacha and Mr ‎Vadim Andreev, director, Research Institute for Enhanced Oil Recovery. The ‎companies represent two major Russian Oil regions Tatarstan and Bashkortastan ‎which are dealing with advance technologies for oil well treatment and oil ‎recovery. They offer new solutions to treat oil wells and increase output which ‎includes bio, chemical, physical and vibro-seismic effect. The use of bio-regents ‎increases the oil output and decreases the water level. The technologies offered ‎by these companies are successfully used by Russian oil giants Lukiol, Yukos, ‎Taneft and THK. ‎

The delegation had serious business discussions with some of the prominent local ‎business groups including Galadari Group of Companies. The delegation also ‎highly praised the level of development achieved by the UAE in various fields and ‎particularly in the oil industry.‎

Mr Andreev said that, their visit to the UAE was productive and positive and as the ‎AGCC is a heart of global oil industry, they will look forward to establish mutual ‎relations with their counterparts in the UAE. ‎

They also visited Oman and had meetings with various big companies in Oman ‎and Ministry of Oil and Gas. This visit was organised by Novotek group and ‎supported by Russian Industrial Investment Fund.‎

Source : Khaleej Times 15 December 2003‎

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QATAR INKS PLAN FOR DOLPHIN GAS PROJECT

Qatar Petroleum and Dolphin Energy Limited announced yesterday the ‎signing of the Final Field Development Plan for the forthcoming Dolphin Gas ‎Project, according to the Development and Production Sharing Agreement ‎‎(DPSA). ‎

The plan, was signed by Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, Qatar's Second Deputy ‎Premier and Minister of Energy and Industry, and by Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Dolphin ‎Energy's Chief Executive Officer.‎

The signing of the Development Plan represents the final investment decision for ‎the project and sets out the details for the various development stages - drilling ‎programme, offshore and onshore construction, compression station and export ‎facilities. ‎

Once the Development Plan is fully implemented in 2006, Dolphin Energy will ‎produce natural gas from Qatar's offshore North Gas Field and process it onshore ‎at Ras Laffan Industrial City to extract Condensate and NGL products. The ‎resulting export gas will subsequently be transported by the Dolphin pipeline to ‎the UAE.‎

The project will attain full capacity within two years of production ‎commencement with export gas rate of 2 billion square feet per day (bscfd), ‎condensate production of around 100,000bpd and Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) ‎products of around 8000 tonnes per day.‎

Al Sayegh said that the Plan confirms the approval of financial and technical ‎parameters under which the company will produce gas in Qatar. Qatar ‎Petroleum is a state-owned corporation responsible for all phases of the oil and ‎gas industry in Qatar while Dolphin Energy was created to develop substantial ‎energy projects throughout the GCC states with the objective of creating long-‎term economic wealth and new business opportunities, far into the future. ‎

Dolphin Energy's major strategic initiative, the Dolphin Project, involves the ‎production and processing of natural gas from Qatar's North Field, and ‎transportation of the dry gas by pipeline to the UAE, beginning 2006. Its first ‎initiative will come on stream during the first quarter of next year when Dolphin's ‎natural gas pipeline from Al Ain to Fujairah is inaugurated. The pipeline will supply ‎the Union Water and Electricity Company in Fujairah, initially with natural gas from ‎Oman, and subsequently with Dolphin gas from Qatar.‎

The shareholders in Dolphin Energy Ltd. are Mubaddala Development Company ‎that is wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, Total of France and ‎Occidental Petroleum of the US.‎

Source : Khaleej Times 12 December 2003‎

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