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Oman’s condensate production rises 18% as oil output drops

27 Dec 2021 By GULAM ALI KHAN

Muscat – As Oman continues to stick to its OPEC+ commitments on oil production, the sultanate sharply increased its condensates output during 2021 to a new record in November as condensate production is exempt from the obligations of the OPEC+ agreement.

Total condensates production during the January–November period of 2021 jumped by 18.1 per cent to 73.408mn barrels compared to 62.173mn barrels recorded in the same period of 2020, according to the data issued by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

An OPEC+ agreement in December 2019 allowed non-OPEC oil producers to exclude condensate output from their production quotas, which enabled countries like Russia and Oman to sharply raise their condensate production.

However, the increased condensate production came at the expense of lower crude oil output as the sultanate is committed to comply with oil production limits under the OPEC+ agreement.

Oman’s crude oil production decreased by 2.6 per cent to 249.765mn barrels in the first 11 months of 2021 compared with 256.450mn barrels in the same period of last year, the NCSI data showed.

The sultanate’s daily average oil production (crude oil and condensates combined) increased 1.7 per cent to 967,600 barrels per day (bpd) in the January–November period of this year from 951,100 bpd in the first 11 months of 2020.

Daily average oil output in November reached 998,300 bpd against 993,400 bpd recorded in October.

Condensate is a mixture of light liquid hydrocarbons and typically separated out of a natural gas stream at the point of production. While Oman’s focus is on managing the natural decline of its oil production, experts believe that there is some scope to increase its production capacity through condensates associated with gas projects, and also some heavy oil developments.

Crude exports inch lower

Oman exported total 260.804mn barrels of crude oil in the first 11 months of 2021, a marginal decrease of 0.5 per cent from 262.036mn barrels exported in the corresponding period of last year.

Exports to China, the largest buyer of Oman’s crude, decreased by 3.2 per cent to 220.299mn barrels in 11 months to November 2021 from 227.649mn in the same period of last year. As the single largest buyer of Oman’s crude, China still attracted more than 84 per cent of the sultanate’s oil shipments during the January–November period.

Oman’s crude exports to India, by contrast, recorded a robust growth of more than 50 per cent at 24.261mn barrels in the first 11 months of this year against 16.142mn barrels in the corresponding period of 2020.

Shipments to South Korea and Japan also witnessed sharp growths of 31 per cent and 30 per cent this year, respectively.

The average price at which Oman sold its crude during the first 11 months of 2021 was 35 per cent higher at US$62.7 per barrel compared with US$46.5 per barrel in the same period of 2020.

The sultanate’s budget for 2022 will be based on an average oil price assumption of US$50 per barrel. Oil and gas revenues are estimated to account for 68 per cent of government’s total revenues in 2022, while non-oil revenues will represent the remaining 32 per cent of the total.

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