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Oman LNG debottlenecking yields results

Oman’s thriving gas sector is set to receive a further boost to both upstream and downstream investment

Debottlenecking will enable Oman LNG (OLNG) to increase production from its plant at Qalhat from almost 11mn t/yr to 12mn t/yr by 2021, the firm’s CEO Harib al-Kitani says, speaking on the sidelines of Petroleum Economist’s 2019 Awards ceremony in London. 

“We started our regeneration journey about four years ago,” he says. “The debottlenecking project began last year, and this year we started reaping the benefits from it. At the end of next year, we will see production plateau at the new level.” 

Oman’s energy sector is rooted in oil, with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) responsible for around 70pc of output that currently totals 970,000bl/d, in line with the Opec+ agreement. PDO is owned by the Omani government (with a 60pc share), Shell (34pc), Total (4pc) and Portugal’s Partex (2pc). 

The focus of the energy sector has increasingly fallen on natural gas. Kitani says gas development offers “huge potential for investors”. “Oman is now discovering more and more gas. Thank goodness, we have found more reserves. We have giant companies that are involved, fighting to get a stake in the country.” 

As an example of how gas is attracting more attention, Kitani cites the experience of Shell. “Before, Shell used to be in Oman through PDO. But Shell today is very aggressively taking blocks—to find gas. Shell is there in a big way. Now they are planning a gas-to-liquids plant, like the one in Qatar.” 

It was BP’s development of the giant Khazzan field (1bn ft³/d production out of Oman’s total 3bn ft³/d) that enabled OLNG to resume capacity production. “BP is hugely interested in expanding and taking new blocks,” Kitani says. “They have already taken two more and are now talking about building an acetic acid plant.” The $1bn project, with output planned at 1mn t/yr, will be developed with Oman Oil Company at the port of Duqm. 

Harib al-Kitani is the Petroleum Economist 2019 energy executive of the year. For the full list of awards click here.





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