Omanís natural gas production to surge


Nasser bin Khamis Al Jashmi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Oil and Gas, addressing Gas Arabia Summit on Monday in Muscat, Oman. Photo provided.

Muscat: The Sultanate's average daily natural gas production is expected to grow by almost 10 per cent to touch 113 million cubic meters (mcm) a day next year from 103mcm a day this year, a top-level official of the Ministry of Oil and Gas told the Gas Arabia Summit here Monday.

The growth in production will be mostly contributed by the Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), which continues to explore and develop additional gas and extend the life of existing fields. "Major developments by the PDO will include the Rahab follow up, Lekhwair/Dhilaimah and Yibal Khuff gas fields," said Nasser bin Khamis Al Jashmi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Oil and Gas.

BP-Oman pact soon
Talking about the ongoing negotiations between British oil giant BP and Oman for developing huge gas reserves of Khazzan and Makarem of block 61, he said that both parties have agreed on most of the terms and a final pact for commercial development would be signed before the end of the year. "The price (of natural gas) has been agreed to, but we cannot disclose it," he added, when asked about the agreed price at which the government buys gas from BP. 

This will be the largest ever single project to be executed in Oman and will add one billion cubic feet per day to the gas network by 2017 in the first phase. Al Jashmi said BP would develop Barik formation, which has a reserve of 50 trillion cubic feet of sweet gas, in the first phase. "In the first phase, they will develop about seven TCF from Barik formation."

He said the Amin formation, which is normally sour gas, has a deposit of 50tcf and will be mostly developed in the second phase. 

Referring to the gas producers in the country, he said now there are 18 non-associated gas fields in production from three producers (PDO, Occidental and PTTEP), which is in addition to the Dolphin gas import. 

Al Jashmi also said that Oman Oil Exploration and Production Company will put on stream the Sultanate's first tight gas development from Abu Tubul field of block 60 in the empty quarter. "This field is a challenging one from many aspects and I am glad to see an Omani company taking full charge of its concession agreement with the Ministry of Oil and Gas to develop this difficult field."

The undersecretary also said that the Salalah LPG project (for extracting LPG from natural gas) is moving towards the final investment phase. "They are now completing the front engine engineering design (FEED) and all related studies."

Referring to the Sultanate's plans to import natural gas from Iran, he said one committee each from both sides has been established to look after the progress of the project and the panel has met several times, mainly to discuss the route of the pipeline. "The pipeline size is about one or two BCF. Now the panel is discussing the timeframe. However, it is still at an early stage." 

The Gas Arabia Summit was organised by the Energy Exchange, with the support of Petroleum Development Oman, Oman Gas Company and Oman LNG.

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