MUSCAT: Due to the oilfields’ appraisals and new explorations, about 110 million barrels have been added to the Sultanate’s oil and condensates reserves in 2016, raising the Sultanate’s total oil and condensate reserves to 5.115 billion barrels as of the end of 2016; a decline by about 257 million barrels compared to 2015, said Salim bin Nasser al Aufi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, during a joint press conference held at the ministry’s headquarters on Monday with major oil companies operating in the Sultanate under the theme ‘Committed to Sustainable Development.’
“About 0.84 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas has been added, raising the Sultanate’s reserves to about 21.15 tcf as of the end of 2016; a decline by around 1.85 tcf compared to 2015 due to the loss of about 0.69 tcf of gas due to oilfield appraisals,” Al Aufi added. In terms of production, he said that the average production of crude oil and condensates stood at about 1.004 million barrels per day compared to 981,000 barrels in 2015; a growth by 2.4 per cent compared to 2015. The average production of natural gas, in addition to gas imported from dolphin, stood at about 112 million cubic meters (compared to 109 million cubic meters in 2015), a growth by 2.3 per cent. This figure includes 87 million cubic meters of non-associated gas, 19 million cubic meters of associated gas and 6 million cubic meters of gas imported from dolphin.
He also said that the Omani government is making continuous efforts to encourage the local and foreign private sector companies to venture into oil and gas exploration, production, gas-based projects and supportive services. The total expenditure on oil and gas exploration, production and development stood at about $11.3 billion including about $7.9 billion on oil and $3.4 billion on gas.
“Amendments to the oil derivatives in line with international prices has saved about RO 250 million for the state’s budget in 2016,” Al Aufi said.
Ahmed bin Saleh al Jahdhami, CEO of Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic), said that the key projects by the company now include operation of Mina Al Fahl, whose investments stands at about $800 million and produces 106,000 tonnes per day.
“The key projects also include Sohar Refinery Improvement Project, whose investment stands at about $1.3 billion and produces 116,000 barrels per day.”
The projects also include Al Jafnin terminal, which when operational will supply more than 50 per cent of the Sultanate’s fuel needs,” he added.
“The projects also include Muscat Sohar Pipeline, of which 87.66 per cent has been completed. They also include Liwa Plastic Industries Complex, which will provide 750 direct jobs and 12,000 indirect jobs,” he furthered. Yousef bin Mohammed al Ojaili, President of BP Oman, gave a presentation highlighting Khazzan and Ghazeer fields. He said that Khazzan natural gas project is the largest project in Oman, and one of the biggest in the Middle East.
It is projected to deliver 1 billion cubic feet a day by 2017; and with the Ghazeer extension, the full project is expected to deliver 1.5 billion cubic feet a day by 2020, as well as 25,000 barrels of condensate a day. The field estimated to deliver around 40 per cent of Oman’s natural gas needs by 2020.
Al Ojaili added that Khazzan is operated by BP (60 per cent), with Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production holding 40 per cent.
He said that 10.5 tcf of gas is available for extraction from Khazzan (7tcf) and Ghazeer (3.5tcf). BP brings its innovative technology key to extract gas from difficult-to-access reservoirs. First gas from Khazzan is expected by late this year and from Ghazeer in 2020. Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production announced three significant oil and natural gas discoveries in Block 60. The company has found first oil discovery in Bisat field, additional light oil discovery in ABB south, and natural gas discovery in ABB north reflecting a very successful programme of exploration in 2016.
The discovered field, named Bisat was appraised by drilling two horizontal wells revealing oil rates in access of 1,000 barrels per day of light oil. Bisat is located 35 km north from the production facilities. This is a significant discovery adding to OOCEP’s resource base and providing future growth opportunity. OOCEP is finalising its development plan for first oil production, leveraging on its existing production facilities. — ONA