Muscat: Oman’s natural gas production and imports fell by 4.5 per cent to 3,424 million cubic metres (MNCM) in January 2017, compared to 3,584 MNCM in the same month last year.
Of this, non-associated gas and imports dropped by 3.7 per cent to 2,859 MNCM, while associated gas production fell by 8 per cent to 565 MNCM, according to the latest statistics released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
A sizeable portion of natural gas in Oman is used by various mega-industrial projects. In January 2017, it stood at 2,183 MNCM, against 2,199 MNCM for the same period of last year. Natural gas is also used in oilfields, either as fuel or for re-injection.
For instance, in January this year, as much as 693 MNCM of natural gas was used in oil fields, against 816 MNCM units consumed during the same period in 2016. Other major consumers of natural gas in Oman include power producers, small-scale industries and liquefied natural gas plants.
Additionally, natural gas is used for producing steam water injection in enhanced oil recovery projects.
In 2016, the Sultanate’s production and imports of natural gas touched 40,849 MNCM.
Also, several mega industrial projects are waiting for natural gas commitments on the part of the Omani government, before proceeding ahead with their proposed expansion programmes. Natural gas production is expected to increase substantially once BP starts commercial production from its Khazaan tight gas project, which is expected to happen sometime towards the end of this year.
In fact, the Ministry of Oil and Gas is responsible for supplying gas to various consumers and the obligations are set out in the agreements.
Crude oil production
Oman produced 29.93 million barrels of crude oil in January, equivalent to 965,617 barrels per day, according to a monthly report released by the Ministry of Oil and Gas.
This shows a drop of 2.97 per cent in crude oil production, compared to December 2016.
As many as 26.65 million barrels of crude oil was exported in January 2017, equivalent to 859,682 barrels per day, an increase of 4.54 percent compared to the previous month.
China was the major importer of the Sultanate’s oil as 60 per cent of the total oil exports were bought by the country. This reflected a 27.89 per cent drop from the earlier 64.16 per cent import by the country in December.