PDO eyes renewables as part of expanded mandate

MUSCAT, NOV 25 – Majority state-owned Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) says it is looking beyond its predominantly hydrocarbon-centric focus to encompass energy development in general, notably solar-based renewables. The move, part of what Managing Director Raoul Restucci (pictured) has characterised as PDO’s gradual evolution into a “fully fledged energy company”, signals a seismic shift in the company’s vision and strategy for growth, 80 years since it was established as the nation’s oil and gas producing flagship.
Restucci alluded to this new paradigm in a statement issued against the backdrop of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC 2017), which concluded in the UAE capital recently. The Emirates News Agency (WAM) quoted him as telling ADIPEC News that PDO is ‘gradually transitioning from a fossil fuel business to a fully-fledged energy company, with a particular emphasis on renewables, especially solar energy’.
Earlier, in a presentation to more than 1,200 staff, Restucci offered insights into PDO’s ambitious vision to diversify away from its core focus on oil and gas exploration and production to also include potentially new energy value streams, as well as to leverage its considerable technical expertise and human resources to provide consultancy and services locally and regionally on a commercial basis.
The latest issue of Al Fahal, the monthly newsletter of PDO, quoted him as saying that the Board has already green-lighted a number of proposals designed to enable the company’s progressive evolution into a full-fledged energy enterprise.
Key to this vision is a proposal to build on the company’s globally-acclaimed renewable energy programme, exemplified by its landmark Miraah project, to create a new value stream for PDO as well as underpin the growth of a new renewables based industry for the Sultanate, he said.

By developing local knowhow and capabilities in renewables, particularly solar, there is potential not only to create large numbers of jobs for Omanis, but also foster the growth of a local supply chain catering to the needs of the wider region as well, he noted.
“If you take services, we identified 30 opportunities that PDO can get involved in to add value, initially to Oman, joining forces, partnering, not competing, and creating new value streams with partners. All in a step-by-step approach,” said Restucci.
“It is about looking beyond our strategy, looking beyond our boundary, beyond Block 6. We can actually broaden our reach and make a difference at a national and an international level,” he added.
PDO is owned 60 per cent by the Omani government, 34 per cent by Royal Dutch Shell, 4 per cent by Total and 2 per cent by Portugal’s Partex, The company accounts for around 70 per cent of total crude output, and almost all of the nation’s natural gas production.

Conrad Prabhu