Oil and gas sector facing the challenge of maximising its value, says H E Aufi

Muscat - 

Oman’s oil and gas sector, as Ministry of Oil and Gas Undersecretary H E Eng Salim bin Nasser al Aufi said, is facing the challenge of its time: How it can maximise its value.

And that is no longer only by exporting crude. Money from oil sales comes and goes, and of late, not as much has come. But can Oman use that crude to make its own fuel as well as oil-based products, from plastics to paints and nylon?

“The trick is in actually utilising all of that and generating more revenue and more value than simply exporting the crude in its crude form,” H E Eng Aufi said. He was speaking following the inauguration of Oman Downstream Exhibition and Conference on Tuesday.
He said it’s something the sector will have to adapt to.

“The challenge is, can we, in this country, try to maximise that value and continue to do further downstream processes in order to make more job opportunities for Omanis as well as of course generate even more revenue from every single barrel that we produce.”

Projects

A number of projects are turning Oman’s downstream potential into reality.

Orpic opened its refinery in Sohar in 2006, and in 2019 it’s expected to open its Liwa Plastics Industries Complex, which will be able to produce plastics for a range of items from furniture, appliances and packing.

An oil pipeline from Sohar to Muscat is also expected to start this summer, new CEO Eng Ahmed al Jahdhami said. “I think momentum has developed.”

By the end of this year, the Duqm Refinery project will be awarding tenders to start construction. Construction should start at the end of the year or early next year, according to general manager for engineering Ishaq al Sarhni.

Initially, Duqm will be focused on fuels, such as diesel, jet fuel, and naphtha, a majority of which will be exported. In the future it will also be producing other by-products.

“We strongly believe that Duqm will be a success story for the 21st century, like any other major zone in the world,” said Eng Hilal al Kharusi, executive managing director, Oman Oil Duqm Development Complex.

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