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The Ministry of Oil and Gas has made a strong effort last year to encourage the world oil companies to invest in the field of oil and gas exploration and production, a statement from the Ministry said. The Oil and Gas sector has to utilize the modern techniques and sophisticated technology to increase production, it added.

Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) recently declared the discovery of a new gas field which is considered the largest gas field discovered in Oman in the last six years. According to the declaration the gas field is about 4,500 metres underground by the well Khazzan-1, a wildcat drilled by Essar's rig 86 in central Oman west of the giant Seeh Rawl gas field. 

PDO had announced in February, the discovery of a gas field named Kauther situated about 50 km from the wilayat of Adam in Dakhiliya region. PDO discovered another well last year in Zalzala, 80 km from the Marmul oilfield.

The average crude production of the Sultanate last year reached 955,000 barrels per day compared to the 904,000 barrels per day during the year 1999. The annual production of the oil during the year 2000 was 350 million barrels. The statistics issued by the Ministry of Oil and Gas revealed that the export of the crude increased from the 308.8 million barrels in the year 1999 to 326.8 million barrels in 2000 worth RO. 8726.83 million. 

China was the major buyer of Omani oil last year with a quantity of 114.4 million barrels. This represents 35.1 per cent of the total crude export of Oman.

Japan and Korea came second and third by importing 73.2 million and 55.7 million barrels respectively, representing 22.2 and 17 per cent of total export. Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines, Australia and the United States of America are the other major importers.

Around 89.9 million barrels of oil and 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas added to the reserves by the new discoveries in the Sultanate during 2000.

The liquefield natural gas project in Kalhat is the important gas project of Oman. The project was officially inaugurated last November under the auspices of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and is considered to be the realization of one of the goals of Fifth Five-Year Plan to diversify the national income sources.

The first load of gas was exported in April 2000 to Korea. A gas factory with an annual capacity of 40,000 tonnes was set up at Seeh Al Rawl. Aiming at developing oil purification, the government decided to construct a new refinery at Sohar in the near future. The execution of the same will begin next year and will be completed by 2004.

The production capacity of the refinery will be 75,000 barrels per day so as to meet the requirements of the local market. The Oman Gas Company will execute the project of the dual gas lines to Sohar and Salalah. The length of the pipeline from Fahud to Sohar is 300 km at an estimated cost of $123 million while the line to Salalah will be a length of 700 km and will cost $180 million.
The two projects will provide opportunity to establish a number of gas dependent projects in Salalah and Sohar, in addition to the execution of many power projects.

The government has also plans to begin a joint project with India in Sur aimed at producing 1,452,000 tonnes of urea and 360,000 tonnes of aluminium. The project is with an estimated cost of $862 million.

Two agreements were signed for the export of urea and aluminium, and negotiations will be completed by the end of this year. The execution of the project will start in the beginning of next year.
(Source : Times of Oman - 19th May, 2001)


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