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Oil and gas production soars

Article - November 14, 2012
Raising production of oil to 1 million barrels per day is a target Oman is striving to achieve
With production rising to levels unseen in the country since the year 2000, Oman has proven that it is possible to reverse the trend of declining oil resources, said the country’s Minister of Oil and Gas, Mohammed Hamad Al Rumhy. Furthermore, with more than 20 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques projects planned, Oman boasts one of the most advanced upstream programmes in the world.

“We are breaking new ground in Oman. And though a lot more needs to be done before we declare recent discoveries commercial, the ministry is very encouraged with the results achieved so far,” he comments, adding that discoveries made last year alone are expected to add 150 million barrels to the country’s scope of possible reserves.

“As a result of similarities between the U.S. and Oman with regards to EOR, the U.S. offers lots of the know-how and technologies that we require.”

Mohammed Hamad Al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas

“We have brought new projects into production through the application of new technologies and we have embarked on a number of EOR techniques, some of which are a world first and which we are very proud of. All these projects have contributed positively to our goal of increasing production. We have seen a steady increase in production year-on-year and are aiming to produce around 915,000 barrels per day (b/d) of oil this year.”

Increased exploration has also played a key role in raising production rates, and the government continues to encourage new participation in the sector. Indeed, 12 new exploration blocks were tendered last year, and Oman’s oil and gas sector is ripe for American technology, said the minister.

“Oman has a very interesting but challenging hydrocarbon profile. Therefore, the strategy is to invite companies with technical capabilities and experience that can add value by providing new technology. As a result of similarities between the US and Oman with regards to EOR, the US offers lots of the know-how and technologies that we require,” he states.

The government is hoping that new exploration will boost daily production over the million barrel mark in the near future. “The oil and gas sector is the vital nerve centre of the national economy and its contribution to national income is projected to reach 81% of the total this year. Consequently, the Sultanate places great importance on the sector and we are determined to make inroads in production to achieve at least a million b/d,” Rumhy said.

Furthermore, the oil and gas sector not only represents a lucrative economic activity for Oman, but it is also a huge employer, especially of Omani nationals. Indeed, according to Rumhy, “Omanisation” levels have reached over 80%.