The bids for new concession areas for oil and gas exploration, which were floated last year, have been opened, said Salim bin Nasser al Aufi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas. The ministry is following up the relevant developments, he said. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the PDO’s celebration of the Omani Environment Day, Al Aufi said that the bids would be analysed next month. The initial negotiations will begin in March. He hoped the agreements for some concession areas would be signed before the end of this year. He said many companies have expressed desire to explore these attractive concession areas.
Al Aufi said an agreement that will be signed on Wednesday between MOG and PetroLeb of Lebanon, which is part of the ministry’s plan for 2017.
“The Sultanate will also host the seventh meeting of the Joint Committee of Opec and Non-Opec members on January 21, 2018,” Al Aufi said.
Earlier, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) celebrated Oman Environment Day at the company’s Mina Al Fahal headquarters in Muscat.
A wide-ranging programme included the signing of an memorandum of understanding (MoU), the launch of ‘Estidama’ (Sustainability), PDO’s new energy management campaign, and announcement of the winners of the Best Environmental Initiative Award, which was organised by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs in collaboration with PDO.
Under the terms of the MoU, the company will partner with The National Field Research Centre for Environment Conservation (NFRC) to exchange knowledge between the two institutions by organising various programmes, training courses, workshops and lectures.
NFRC will also look at the possibility of adopting the Lean continuous business improvement way of working in its projects.
Building on its focus on sustainability, PDO launched ‘Estidama’ which will support in centralising the communication for all strategic projects that fall under the banner of energy and the environment under one platform.
The campaign is dedicated to building a positive environmental culture across Oman by focusing on six main pillars: renewable energy, people, energy efficiency, environment, energy saving and economy.
Al Aufi praised PDO on its leading role in safeguarding the environment, stressing that the new ‘Estidama’ campaign “is an excellent communication message.”
He added: “Most times when we talk about energy we focus on renewables. There is little talk about the actual efficiency of the consumption itself and conserving some of the energy that is produced already. ‘Estidama’ is a great initiative because it sheds light on these highly relevant pillars which are energy efficiency and conservation.”
PDO is currently in the early stages of a transition and expansion from a fossil fuel business to a fully-fledged energy company, with a particular emphasis on renewable, especially solar energy.
“Energy management is a critical driver at PDO as we gradually move to a fully-fledged energy company and today’s event to mark Oman Environment Day provided us with the opportunity to announce new initiatives in support of this.
“As part of this energy management and sustainability focus, the MoU and the new ‘Estidama’ campaign will enable us to deliver more value for our immediate stakeholders and indeed the whole of Oman in this key area,” said PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci.
Oman Cement Company (SAOG) was announced as the winner of the Best Environmental Initiative Award which aimed at highlighting the role of companies in serving the environment and creating a sense of shared responsibility towards environment conservation.
Hodar Engineering Services LLC and Nafath Renewable Energy scooped second and third prizes respectively.