New gas finds buoy hopes for Oman LNG’s business growth

Oman LNG — the nation’s gas liquefaction flagship — has embarked on a two-pronged strategy designed, on the one hand, to boost output through a major debottlenecking exercise, and on the other, to extend the life of the Qalhat plant well beyond its current concession that expires in 2025.
The strategy, according to Harib al Kitani (pictured), Oman LNG CEO, is key to sustaining the company’s ability to continue generating revenues for the national economy and supporting socio-economic development well into the future.

Speaking at the opening of the ‘Gas and LNG Middle East Summit’, which kicked off at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre here yesterday, Al Kitani said the strategy will also seek to capitalise to new gas discoveries and upstream developments that augur well for investments potentially even in floating regasification capacity and perhaps a mini-LNG plant as well, he noted. The upbeat picture for the majority state-owned company, which has so far delivered in excess of 2,300 cargoes to some 15 countries worldwide over 18 years of operations, represents a new chapter in its history, said Al Kitani.
The debottlenecking project, made possible by gas supplies from the BP Khazzan development in Block 61, will ramp up output by around 1 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). Output from the 3-train plant, which had long operated at only around 75 per cent of the nameplate capacity of 10.4 mtpa due to inadequate feedstock supplies, is now at full capacity in the wake of new gas volumes coming from Khazzan.
The debottlenecking exercise will also leverage the latest technology developments in LNG processing to achieve higher LNG yields, which in turn will help the company expand its customer base, the CEO said. “Further growth in the gas grid upstream means more gas for security of supply to Oman LNG, but also excitingly in the long run, perhaps potential further expansion of our business,” he noted.
Additionally, with an eye on the future, Oman LNG has also embarked on a ‘life extension project’ aimed at adding more years to its operational life beyond the expiry of its current concession in 2025, said Al Kitani. “With support from the government and our shareholders, we are on track to deliver this programme which will add hopefully another 25-30 years to the life of our plant,” he stated.
The company, he further noted, was in discussion with the government on how it can sustain the supply of natural gas as feedstock for the plant over the extended period.
An exciting future awaits Oman LNG, said the CEO, especially as new discoveries open up the possibility of additional gas volumes being channelled to Qalhat, where the 3-train liquefaction plant is located.
“With new gas volumes, there are (ideas) about floating regasification to capture those opportunities, and even a mini scale LNG plant for a short period. So it’s exciting times, and we are looking forward to the future,” he added.