The Sultanate’s gas production is set to overtake oil by 2023, driven by soaring domestic energy demand, as well as the development of major new gas fields in the country, according to a report by Norwegian firm Rystad Energy.
Aditya Saraswat, a specialist at the energy firm, said, “Gas is on the rise in Oman, and this transition is very timely. Oil output declines over the last two years may indicate a point of no return for Oman oil, but the country’s sliding oil production is set to be replaced by gas.”
Oman’s oil and gas industry is currently undertaking major efforts to boost output by tapping into the country’s tight gas reserves. Demand for gas will continue to increase despite strong inroads by renewable and other low-carbon resources into the energy mix — a scenario that warrants sustained investment in the redevelopment of tight-gas resources, BP Oman’s President Yousuf al Ojaili said during a forum entitled ‘Tight Gas — Challenges and Opportunities,’ held in Oman last week.
BP’s multibillion-dollar tight-gas development in Block 61 — billed as the largest unconventional gas project in the Middle East — currently accounts for roughly a quarter of Oman’s total gas production, with sizable additional volumes coming from other operators as well.
Khazzan, representing Phase 1 of BP Oman’s estimated $16 billion investment over the life of the project, currently delivers around 1 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day of gas into the government gas system. This output will be bolstered by around 0.5 bcf/day in early 2021 when Ghazeer — representing Phase 2 of the landmark project — comes into production.
With investments pouring into gas production, the Rystad report said the country’s gas output will increase to 130 million cubic metres per day (MMcmd), shifting the oil-gas production mix from 35 per cent in 2015 to 50 per cent by 2025.
“Amidst rising global liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand and the increasingly lucrative domestic gas market, international players are favouring gas developments in Oman,” Saraswat said. “The strengthened gas market will help gas production levels to outshine Oman’s dwindling oil production, with gas output projected to overtake oil by 2023,” he added.