Muscat: Oman’s natural gas production and imports edged down by 1 per cent to 13,532 million cubic metres (MNCM) for the first four months of 2017, compared with 13,670 MNCM in the same January to April period of last year.
Natural gas production is expected to increase substantially once BP starts commercial production from its Khazaan tight gas project, which is expected in the fourth quarter of this year.
Of this, non-associated gas and imports eased by 0.4 per cent to 11,261 MNCM, while associated gas production fell by 4 per cent to 2,271 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. During the January to April period of this year, it stood at 8,173 MNCM, slipping from 8,179 MNCM for the same period of last year. Natural gas is also used in oilfields, either as fuel or for re-injection.
Natural gas is used for producing steam water injection in enhanced oil recovery projects.
For instance, in the January-April period of this year, as much as 2,915 MNCM of natural gas was used in oil fields, down from 3,053 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.
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. 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 116.10 million barrels of crude oil in the first four months of 2017, equivalent to 967,500 barrels per day, according to a monthly report released by NCSI.
This shows a drop of 3.8 per cent in crude oil production, compared with the same period of 2016.
As many as 97.50 million barrels of crude oil was exported in the January to April period of 2017, reflecting a fall of 12.1 per cent, compared with the same period of last year. China retained its position as a major importer of the Sultanate’s crude oil.